A Starbucks that opened without planning permission has managed to get a six-month stay of execution - by claiming it is not a coffee shop.

The branch in St James's Street, Brighton, caused controversy when it opened last month, despite being refused planning permission.

Residents and traders believe it is detrimental to the area.

The store, which used to be a bookshop, has permission for retail use but not to be run as a coffee shop. Bosses are now using this to say that it is used as a shop by people to buy bags of coffee, mugs and sandwiches.

Council planning chiefs will now monitor the premises to see how much they are selling of each item. The firm also has six months to lodge an appeal against the council's decision and can continue to trade in that time.

Starbucks had started renovating the store even before the Brighton and Hove City Council meeting which refused it planning permission.

A Facebook group called Stop Starbucks Opening On St James's Street started by Jon Barrenechea, 31, of New Steine, Brighton, gained 1,355 members and filed more than 500 letters of objection against the application.

Another application to put signs up outside Starbucks was also refused by the council on June 18.

The council is still deciding on whether to grant permission for air conditioning inside the premises. A council spokesman said the shop could legally operate because of the retail part of their planning permission.

He said: "We will have to monitor the business and ask them to show us how much they are selling of each item."

Phil Broad, managing director of Starbucks Coffee Company UK and Ireland said: "Starbucks is planning to submit the appeal documentation within the statutory time frame."