Crawley Borough Council will not overturn planning permission for 59 flats in Southgate even though the site could be designated a Conservation Area.
Last year, permission was given to demolish Zurich House, in East Park, to replace it with flats in a block ranging from two to five storeys.
Since then, the site has been highlighted as part of a possible Conservation Area - a possibility which is still part of a public consultation.
At a meeting of the council’s development control committee on Monday (October 14), members were told that Zurich House was a low quality 1970s office block which provided no historic or planning interest.
The opinion of most councillors was that the planned new development would be far preferable to the current building.
Cllr Ian Irvine (Lab, Broadfield North) said: “It’s just an ugly building and to keep that there would surely reduce the possibility of there being a Conservation Area in the first place.
“Whatever replaces it will be better than what’s there at the moment.”
Cllr Sally Blake (Con, Pound Hill North) said: “If the area was made a Conservation Area tomorrow, that building would stand there forever and ever and ever, slowly deteriorating because no one would be able to do anything to it.”
Cllr Keith Brockwell (Con, Pound Hill North) warned: “If we turn it down tonight on spurious grounds, the appeal would be short and sweet and costly.”
Residents living in the East Park area had campaigned to stop the new development and said they were “devastated” when permission was given for it to go ahead in July 2012.