Guerrilla gardeners have been told they have permission to keep open a wasteland they transformed into a community space.

The group behind the Lewes Road Community Garden are celebrating after the owners of the derelict Esso garage where they created it gave their blessing for it to continue.

They were told by Alburn Retail Limited that they could keep the garden going until such time as the land, at the corner of Lewes Road and Edinburgh Road, was needed for redevelopment.

The news follows just days after the gardeners arrived to find the gates had been chained, prompting fears they would be blocked out.

Gabriel Wulff, one of the group who has developed the garden over the past two months, said: "This is great news. It means we are legal and we don't have to worry about being thrown out or called squatters or anything like that."

Hundreds of residents around Lewes Road have been enjoying the recreation space the gardeners instigated at the site, which had been disused for five years.

On a series of community days the garden's supporters cleared rubble and rubbish, laid lawns, brought in benches, flower pots, sculptures and other decorations and planted flowers and shrubs into eyesore concrete blocks.

They have held family barbeques and music performances and have taken responsibility for locking the garden each night and opening it in the morning.

Mr Wulff said the blessing of the owners, which came via agents King Sturge, meant they could now consider getting insurance or licences for other events, like outdoor cinema screenings.

He made clear that no-one had any intentions of using the garden at night or hosting any antisocial activity.

The arrangement with the owners was negotiated by Brighton and Hove city councillor Keith Taylor, who represents the area.

He said: "This is a brilliant use of redundant space being converted into a real community asset. Hats off to the guerrilla gardeners.

“Seeing the results here makes one ask ‘how many other sites are there in the city that could benefit from this treatment?"

The arrangement was the third landmark celebrated for people power in Brighton in recent weeks. It follows Tesco's announcement they were scrapping plans for a new supermarket in London Road amid a movement of opposition and a public inquiry into whether Starbucks would be allowed to continue to operate in St James's Street without the correct planning permission.

Almost 3,000 signed a petition to keep the Lewes Road Community Garden open within days of it being chained last week.

The owners told Coun Taylor they had nothing to do with it being locked. There are now suspicions someone locally who was unhappy about the project may have been responsible.

The next event planned at the garden is an afternoon party on Saturday(June 20) in support of the Big Lemon bus company.