A CHRISTMAS festival that turned a historic garden into a "muddy quagmire" should be moved, the Tories have said.

The Conservatives called for the Brighton Christmas Festival to be moved away from Valley Gardens and Old Steine Gardens in future years, after local residents were left frustrated by last year's event.

The festival, which ran seven days a week from November 26 to December 31, faced an angry backlash from neighbours furious with late-night noise and music.

And after the event backed up, public spaces including Old Steine Gardens, Brighton have been left in a "terrible state", with lawns having been churned into mud.

Conservative tourism spokesman councillor Dee Simson said that when the festival returns next year, it should be moved to Madeira Drive instead.

She said: "The council needs to listen to local residents in the area who have had five torrid weeks of thumping music disrupting their sleep.

“Concerns about the noise raised by the local Old Steine Community Association during the Festival were not heeded by the council, leaving residents frustrated.

“Now, to make matters worse, the historic gardens that run through the Valley Gardens precinct have been left in a dreadful state and will take a massive amount of repair work if they are to recover for the summer.

“It is such a shame to see these historic parks in an even worse state than they were during the summer after other events and the council has a lot to answer for.

“The city already has a suitable ‘ready-made’ space for a Christmas festival along Madeira Drive and this would be a much better location to hold it in future years.

“This ideal space would connect with the pier to create a much better environment for the Christmas festivities.

“The Conservatives will be raising this matter at this week’s meeting of the tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee on Thursday and will be asking the council to review the location for 2022 and beyond."

The market is set to return for the next two years - but some people living in the area want the council to reconsider this decision.

Councillors approved organisers E3 Events to run the Christmas market for three years back in March last year.

More than 131,000 people visited the festival's Christmas market alone and was named one of the best in the UK.

A council spokesman previously said: "The Valley Gardens area has been a popular location for the city's night-time economy for many years.

"We have recently improved St Peter's Square as an events space. It is used at key times of the year, such as the Brighton Festival and the festive season.

"After a challenging year for everyone in the city, we've been pleased to see a new winter event attract footfall and interest.

"The council aims to manage a balance between a successful events programme in the city centre and the views of residents.

"Plans for reinstating the physical areas affected by events are always included in our permissions for events to go ahead, and the Christmas festival is no exception.

"Grassy areas that become muddy or dry out are given time to grow back. Obviously this is a gradual process, particularly at this time of year.

"The organisers of the Christmas Festival event had a noise management plan agreed with our environmental health team. The organisers took noise meter readings throughout the event, each night on agreed points around the site.

"We found no evidence that they exceeded agreed volume levels.

"Councillors granted permission for this event last year on a three-year basis. We will be reviewing the success of this first event in due course, taking into account feedback from the event organisers and residents."