A community garden set up by residents on the derelict site of a former petrol station will be dismantled next month.

The "guerrilla" gardeners behind the Lewes Road Community Garden have announced they will be packing up the popular makeshift park, on the corner of Edinburgh Road and Lewes Road, Brighton, after its owners announced plans to develop the site.

Belfast-based Alburn Minos Development Ltd has planning permission to build two ground floor shops and seven first and second floor apartments and has signalled its intention to start work.

The gardeners have asked for until January to pack up the park, which they created by bringing in turf, plants and furniture after breaking in and clearing the eyesore site.

The group is planning a goodbye Christmas party at the garden on Sunday December 6 from 2pm to 5pm and has appealed for volunteers to help to dismantle it the following weekend on December 12 and 13.

Alburn were unavailable to comment on their plans yesterday but it is understood they are likely to involve a supermarket chain convenience store.

Dozens of residents were involved in setting up the garden and many more have taken part in film screenings, yoga classes, parties and other events staged there.

Mr Blinkhorn said the gardeners hoped to find a new site but would concentrate in the meantime on finding somewhere to take the items gathered at the garden.