TRADERS were exasperated as an abandoned homeless camp surrounded by human waste was left to stagnate in a busy city centre street.

Business owners said they had to put up with the sight and smell of the dilapidated tents for several days.

There was also excrement underneath a nearby tree and urine “trickling down the street”.

The tents were dumped in Market Street, Brighton, in the heart of popular shopping district The Lanes.

Sarah Gunn, director of nearby Number Ten Jewellers, said: “They have left two tents and one was used as a toilet and is full of excrement. There is also excrement by a nearby tree.

“It’s a public health hazard and traders have to see that every day. It’s beginning to really smell.

“It just looks terrible and you have small children and dogs walking through.

“On Saturday I saw a small child trying to get into one of the tents, exploring as they do, not knowing what was inside.”

She said the tents were blocking one shop’s window as they were attached to the outside of the building.

A council “notice of intention to remove” was attached to the side of both tents.

It said the notice expired yesterday at “02-00”.

The Argus visited the site at 2.30pm, and the tents were cleared by CityClean workers shortly after 3pm.

This was not the only homeless camp to be set up in the city this week.

A large shelter was made of tarpaulin strung up from several trees at The Level early this week and was still there as we went to press.

A group of at least six people were at the camp, which included several bikes, piles of clothes and sleeping bags and an office chair.

One Twitter user posted an image of the camp in a message to Brighton and Hove City Council in which she asked “why is this disgusting sight allowed on the Level?”.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “With any encampment in the city a number of factors are considered before any enforcement action is taken.

“We work with other local agencies including the police, St Mungo’s and Equinox to ensure the health and wellbeing of the people at the camp, check on accommodation and if any reports of antisocial behaviour have been logged.

“There is no difference in our policy depending on the size of the encampment or where it is.

“Each encampment will have its own specific issues and the appropriate action will be taken.

“At The Level we have not yet been able to carry out all the checks required.

“Based on what we have seen, this doesn’t appear to be a ‘tent’ encampment.

“We will follow the normal process and ask our homeless support providers to talk to the group to identify any issues.

“Following an abandoned tent notice being issued on Thursday, the tents on Market Street have now been cleared.

“The belongings are being held in storage.”

This comes as Brighton and Hove City Council's latest count claims the number of rough sleepers on the city's streets has halved since last year.

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