Councillors have given their blessing to plans to build a church on the northern edge of Burgess Hill.
The decision means Sheddingdean Baptist Church will soon have a permanent home on land north of Maple Drive, next to Burgess Hill Town FC’s ground.
Part of the site is currently used as an overflow car park for the football club, while another portion is used as a kick-about area.
At the moment, worshippers meet in the Sheddingdean Community Centre and the primary school.
Last year, the Mid Sussex planning committee had resolved to grant permission for the church, but the decision was never issued because a legal agreement concerning Section 106 contributions was not completed.
The latest application, which was considered at a meeting on Thursday evening (February 28), was almost identical to the last – the only change being that the building was moved further south to avoid a water main.
The two-storey church will have a distinctive curved roof completely covered in sedum-type plants, which do well in full sunshine.
As well as serving as a place of worship, the church will be made available to the local community – and it is hoped it can double as theatre space for the school, allowing children to put on performances there.
With new homes planned for the Freeks Lane area and only one small community centre nearby, Pru Moore (Con, Burgess Hill – Leylands) told the meeting the church would be ‘a huge benefit’.
Mrs Moore praised plans to allow the youth club, school and community use the church, adding: “I’ve always supported them – not for religious reasons but for the work that they do.”