Amex has confirmed it will replace the new benches outside the former Amex House site following a petition demanding the ‘anti-homeless’ benches to be scrapped.

The petition, spearheaded by homeless campaigner Daniel Harris, pushed Amex and Brighton and Hove Council to remove the benches in Edward Street. The six benches were installed at the end of last year.

He alleged they were designed to keep off rough sleepers. Mr Harris started the campaign on which was signed by 3,890 people.

However Amex refuted the claims saying the benches were designed for their ease of use.

A spokesman said: “The benches were installed by American Express as part of an obligation of the demolition of the former Amex House site.

“The benches were chosen for their ease of use and their sturdiness.

“It was never our intention to restrict their use. We plan to have the benches replaced as soon as possible.

“We will be working with the local council to establish the specification for alternative seating that will meet the needs of the entire community.

“We take great pride in our commitment to the community and thank local residents for the feedback. The benches, which were installed at the end of last year, will be replaced once alternative seating specifications have been agreed with the council.

The petition read: “In the last 12 months, sadly 17 people who are affected by homelessness in Brighton and Hove have died and I believe these anti-homeless benches do not fit into an inclusive, diverse and welcoming city like Brighton and Hove.

“I call on Geoff Raw, the chief executive who is most senior member of staff at Brighton and Hove City Council, to have these benches removed and replaced with the old style benches we have always had here in Brighton and Hove.

“These are benches that couples can cuddle up and relax, or local workers can chill and eat their lunch. These are clearly designed and chosen for one reason to keep away rough sleepers.”