Marks Barfield's plans for a 180m observation platform on Brighton's seafront have been given a significant boost following vital backing from English Heritage (EH).
The conservation quango has come out in support of the proposed £20 million i360 tower, which would have little chance of success of building on the derelict Westgate pier site had EH failed to give its backing.
The planning application for the scheme will be heard in October, but EH's reluctance to back Frank Gehry's King Alfred redevelopment had given the husband and wife practice cause for concern.
However, with full support from EH, the practice can now look forward to October with renewed confidence.
EH inspector Richard Morrice said of the proposed scheme: 'We welcome a project which would provide an outstanding feature on the seafront and be a worthy companion to any successor to the West Pier, whether rebuilt or replaced.
'It would achieve an outcome not unlike the original promenade pier by allowing viewing of the whole of Brighton seafront, not from seaward but from above.'
He added: 'Although EH looks with considerable regret on the history of the West Pier, we consider the current proposal would prove a fine addition to the seafront.' by Richard Vaughan