Work on a new entrance to the Lanes in Brighton is expected to begin after a planning application was given the green light by the government.The application had already been approved by the Brighton and Hove City Council Planning Committee in April.
The new shopping lane, named Hanningtons Lane, will be created in in the service yard of the former Hanningtons department store.
The application, part of the regeneration of Brighton Square, will require the demolition of a Grade II listed shop currently occupied by Timpson’s.
The proposal was supported by the public and businesses, with hundreds of letters of support submitted to the council. It was also backed by three local conservation societies.
After the Planning Committee approved the application, all three Brighton and Hove MPs made representations to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government urging him not to call in the scheme.
The Secretary of State, Greg Clark, has now given the plans the green light.
John McLean, director of local architects Morgan Carn Partnership who led on the design of the scheme, said: “This is great news for our city and the project can finally get under way.
“Our councillors and MPs listened to the ground swell of support from local residents and businesses and recognised the substantial public benefits that will come from the creation of the high-quality new entrance that our world famous Lanes deserve.
“The project will provide improved links between the Royal Pavilion estate and the seafront and the opening up and restoration of the listed Puget’s Cottage behind Timpson’s, which has been landlocked and hidden from public view for over 140 years.”
Work on the project is due to begin early next year.
Ed Allison-Wright, acting for the owners of Brighton Square, Centurion Group, said: “This is a win for local democracy and testament to what ‘localism’ is all about.
“These proposals had a staggering 98.5 per cent support from the public, in addition to approval from our own elected members.
“Collectively, we can now look forward to the new owners, Redevco, unlocking one of the most interesting historical gems of our city to the public, tourists and businesses alike.
“This link lane will significantly enhance permeability from North Street into Brighton’s world famous Lanes, improving the environment for long-term economic growth.”