Plans for a new BMW dealership will have to overcome objections from a vocal local group.
BMW and Mini dealer Chandlers, part of Group 1 Automotive, aims to build a new dealership on farmland near Littlehampton on the south coast.
However earlier this month about 20 members of a local conservation group protested outside the village hall hosting a public exhibition on the scheme which attracted some 200 visitors.
They complained the land lies within the strategic gap intended to protect open countryside between Ferring, Angmering and East Preston.
Bob Stoyle, of Marshall Clark, project managers of the scheme for Chandlers, said the company understood and respected the views of those concerned about the encroachment into the gap, but was also encouraged by the level of support for the proposals.
The exhibition also showed proposals for the redevelopment of Chandler's existing BMW showroom into 23 homes.
The proposals can be viewed online at www.mychandlers.co.uk