A large encampment on Brighton Beach was destroyed this morning after several weeks of antisocial behaviour at the beauty spot.

Council officers turned up with black bin bags and a rubbish van this morning to clear the 'tent city' from the beach near the Bandstand following almost six weeks since it first appeared.

The Argus: Council officers at the encampmentCouncil officers at the encampment (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Brighton and Hove City Council first told The Argus they were working to remove the tents "as soon as possible" on August 29, but it took them some 22 days until the tents were removed.

The dwellers were handed a community protection notice last Friday, ordering them to leave the area or face a conviction or hefty fines, but even this failed to encourage them to pack up and leave.

The Argus: Council officers disposing of the encampmentCouncil officers disposing of the encampment (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

But today officers finished their "due legal process" and removed the tents and belongings inside.

Camping equipment, food and even a baseball bat were taken away from the beach as part of a full clean-up promised by the council once the residents were moved on.

The Argus: Officers throwing the items into a vanOfficers throwing the items into a van (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Councillor Gill Williams, chair of the housing committee, told The Argus: "In legal terms, the timescales for us taking action on encampments is dependent on the individual circumstances of the camp dwellers.

One resident was spotted collecting his bike from the encampment before walking away in silence, passing by dozens of black bin bags inside the van.

The Argus: Burnt wood planks were collected from the beach Burnt wood planks were collected from the beach (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Cllr Williams added: “The removal of the tents and accompanying items this morning was carried out following further discussions with the tent dweller who was at the site, and with their permission.

"All these items will now be disposed of or returned to owners as soon as appropriate."

The Argus: Council officers dragging a tent off the beachCouncil officers dragging a tent off the beach (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

During the removal this morning, a bystander told The Argus: "Officers have been working fast carrying tents and dropping them into the van. People came over to see and appeared quite relieved. Some people said it was their favourite spot on the seafront."

The first tent was said to have arrived in early August and a resident said new additions turned it into a "tent city".

The Argus: 'Tent city' pictured last week'Tent city' pictured last week (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Beachgoers also previously raised concerns about antisocial behaviour on Brighton beach, with one saying their favourite spot was "ruined".

They said people have been seen injecting drugs in broad daylight, defecating on a beach groyne and fist fighting next to families and children in the area during the height of the summer holidays.

The Argus: A council officer clearing the 'tent city' this morningA council officer clearing the 'tent city' this morning (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Another told The Argus: “It's coming to the point where I’m not going to be able to go down at all.”

At least five people were understood to have pitched up on the beach, and it is not yet clear where they will move to next.