A crack den in the middle of a flagship housing development will remain sealed off after magistrates agreed to extend a closure order.

The property in Sheffield Court in Brighton's New England Quarter became synonymous with drug dealing. Neighbouring residents reported addicts visiting the flat every few minutes.

The property was raided by Sussex Police on January 16 and the force, together with Moat Housing Association and Brighton and Hove City Council, applied for a closure order under the Antisocial Behaviour Act.

The order banned anyone, including the tenants George Horvath and Diane Brennan, from entering the property for three months while Moat Housing Association, which runs the social housing part of the development, sought a possession order.

But delays meant an extension of a further three months had to be sought at Brighton Magistrates' Court.

Speaking after the order was granted yesterday, Inspector Rob Leet, of central Brighton neighbourhood policing team, said: “It s great news for the residents and traders in the area.

“When we closed it down the feedback from the community was positive. The general consensus was they could get their lives back.

“We did an analysis of the two-month period following the closure order and we compared that with the two-month period prior to the order.

“Before the order there were 11 calls to the police about antisocial behaviour and drugs and there has been only one in that area since.”