A FAMILY-SIZED tent has been pitched in a busy street.

Workers at local businesses have complained about the tent which is some 6ft high and is in Princes Place, Brighton, close to the Royal Pavilion.

The city council said it had “limited powers” to move tents.

And a homeless man said they would “be dead” without them.

Chef Peter Papp works opposite the tent at the restaurant Bella Italia.

He said: “It’s not very nice. The man inside said he’d had to move here after there was a series of crimes on the street he was camped in before.

“He came up and apologised but he said it was safer for him here.

“I’m not saying it’s nice for people walking by to see tents in the city though.

“They’re everywhere now and winter’s coming.”

A homeless man outside the tent, who is not the occupant, said: “We have to put up tents. We’d be dead otherwise.”

The council said the tent was not blocking a public highway and would not be moved.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of this tent and it has been visited by our field officers but as it is not blocking a public highway the legal powers we have are limited.

“The occupant is known to [homeless charity] St Mungo’s and work is continuing to help the person move off the street.

“The best way to deal with this effectively is to support vulnerable people off the streets and into services that can help them rebuild their lives, which is what is happening in this case.”

There are roughly 9,000 people on the council’s housing register.

One formerly homeless man, known as Mr Dogg, has recently been given somewhere to live.

He said: “I’ve been housed now. It took me ages to get a home. It’s much better: it’s less windy. But people on the street need tents so they can stay warm and dry.”

The council said its workers are called out to about ten new cases of people rough sleeping every week.

It said: “Information on tents is gathered by commissioned services and partner agencies across the city every day.

“A weekly partner review meeting looks at where there are tents, what support has been offered and what action needs to be taken.

“The decision to move on tents is always carefully considered. However, the council has limited powers to move people on and legal action can be time consuming.

“Before taking action, we look at the individual needs of people sleeping rough and the impact of the loss of community space as well as wider issues around antisocial behaviour, wellbeing and safety for all involved.”

Nationally, there has been the biggest rise in deaths of homeless people since records began.

The ONS found that 11 homeless people died in Brighton last year. In September, the council said 15 homeless people had died in the city in the previous six months.