CAMPAIGNERS have warned that two Golden elms will die if a newly installed giant billboard is not removed.

Complaints have been raised after a giant advertising hoarding was installed in front of two trees planted just a few years ago to brighten up a down-at-heel traffic junction.

Organisers behind planting of the trees said the new billboard will block out the light and space the trees need to flourish.

Ward councillor and planning committee chairwoman Julie Cattell has raised the issue with council enforcement officers.

The trees at the intersection between Old Shoreham Road and New England Road in Brighton were planted as part of a joint project between Prestonville Community Association and Brighton and Hove City Council in 2011.

Residents have reacted angrily to the presence of the giant billboard which appeared earlier this month.

Marek Kohn, chairman of Prestonville Community Association, said: “It’s an immense, really crass, in-your-face billboard.

“There are a lot of elms in Brighton and Hove and rightly we are proud of them but they need looking after.

“It’s not just what the elms will look like in spring 2016, it’s what they could look like in 100 years’ time and for the enjoyment of future generations.

“We choose to put the trees there to try and improve that area but they’ve obviously thought there’s a captive audience there stuck in traffic jams and it is something they can get some money out of.”

Cllr Cattell said: “Until the matter has been investigated by our enforcement team, I can't comment on the planning status of the hoarding.

“However, we don't have to look far for the contact details of the company who own it as it is written in huge writing.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokeswoman said the authority was looking into the issue.

The Argus contacted the company responsible for the advertising sign, London-based, but they did not respond at time of The Argus going to print.