It was a popular cinema in the centre of Lancing dating back to the 1940s – but now the former Luxor building will be converted into flats.
Adur District Council’s planning committee unanimously welcomed the conversion on Monday, just over a year after firefighters tackled a blaze in the empty building.
The project, to provide 12 flats and a ground-floor retail unit, will retain the ‘iconic’ frontage.
Planning committee chairman Carol Albury said: “We have all worked so hard to bring this to the committee as this is the gateway to Lancing and this now is a very exciting start to what should a wonderful development.
“Still keeping the Luxor name and structure, we will not lose this iconic building.”
Mrs Albury acknowledged years of work behind the scenes by officers to get the Luxor back into use.
Community campaigners called for the facade to be preserved, while Lancing Parish Council tried to get the building listed as an asset of community value.
UKIP councillor Geoff Patmore supported the plans ‘with every ounce of my heart’. He said: “I know a great deal of work has been put into this by officers and I appreciate it enormously.”
The plans will include a second-floor roof extension and enlargement of the rear tower to provide the 12 flats.
Separate advertisement consent will be required for proposed signage, with the addition of ‘Court’ set to be added below the refurbished ‘Luxor’ wording.
Cabinet member for regeneration Brian Boggis said: “Generally I think we are all very pleased to see this application in and I am sure the officers will do their best to make it come to life in the centre of Lancing village.”
No affordable housing will be provided on site. Officers said the £249,260 contribution for off-site provision was reduced to £32,952.18 as the developer was entitled to ‘vacant building credits’ .
The sum is the first affordable housing contribution secured by Adur’s planning committee this year. The Herald revealed last week Adur and Worthing councils had missed out on more than £2million of affordable housing cash in 2017 because of government planning rules.