Residents could be locked into their street at night under new measures to deal with drug dealing, vandalism and brawling.

Picturesque Brunswick Row in Brighton will be the first street in the city to get "yobbusting"

gates at either end if the controversial plan is approved by councillors this week.

Householders besieged by crime and disorder welcomed the move although critics argue it will displace the problem to neighbouring streets.

Pinki Surana, of Brunswick Row, said: "It's a wonderful idea. My window was smashed and now I have a grille up to stop it happening again.

"You can hear them until 3am. There is lots of rubbish and we have people knocking at the door and urinating in the doorway. At one point I thought of moving because of it."

Last year a serious sexual assault fuelled safety concerns for residents.

And in October a resident was assaulted after asking someone to pick up dropped litter.

Brunswick Row links the bars and takeaways of London Road with Ditchling Road.

Brighton and Hove City Council will consider a request by Sussex Police to install gates at both ends of the passageway, locking them between 6pm and 8am.

Police say the move is a response to complaints from residents of noise nuisance, drug dealing, criminal damage, fighting, littering and antisocial behaviour.

Bernard Mayerhofer, who lives in the street, said: "My car windscreen was smashed the other day. Friday night is the night. The kids get drunk and walk past here to The Level."

The gates are designed to eliminate drug dealing, improve safety for residents and stop yobs from congregating in the area or using it as an escape route.

Sgt Kath Connor said: "This street had specific problems. It is a temporary measure. We don't want it to become Fortress Brighton.

"The majority of calls we have had are about noise, nuisance and quality of life issues."

A 12-month consultation undertaken by the council last year found CCTV would be too expensive and have little impact on behaviour in the street.

Lighting and extra policing had been found to be ineffective at preventing antisocial behaviour.

The problem continued when police were absent and lighting had not proved a deterrent.

The council was given powers to grant gating orders in April last year under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 and this is the first such order to be proposed for the city.

Gill Mitchell, leader of the opposition Labour party, said: "It's good to see this national legislation being used locally to improve the lives of residents.

"Gating orders must be seen as a useful addition to community safety work and should not become a substitute for good, regular policing."

Geoffrey Theobald, chairman of the council's environment committee said: "If councillors approve the plan, then we could see an end to this area being used by drug dealers, drunks and other antisocial elements as a short cut between The Level and London Road."

One resident from nearby Queen's Place objected to the plans and wrote to the council claiming the only reason for the gates was to make the properties more "upmarket".

The neighbour said: "Gates would be far more useful on the alleyway opposite Brunswick Row and Queen's Place to stop this area being used as a public urinal and household waste dumping site.

"An even better solution would be to completely gate off Brunswick Row, the alleyway and Queen's Place."

Roy Pritchard, 60, of Queen's Place, said: "If the gates are erected it is going to force the problem of antisocial behaviour into our area.

"It is not getting rid of the problem but simply moving it into my street."

The scheme will be considered by members of Brighton and Hove City Council's environment committee meeting at Hove Town Hall on Thursday.

If it is given the go-ahead, the council aims to install the gates within the next few months and issue residents with keys.