Residents kept quiet about squatters taking over a former school because they preferred them to the idea of developers moving in.

A group of about a dozen people are believed to have moved into a section of the vacant Park House in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, in November.

But neighbours have remained tight lipped, saying they preferred the building to be used for shelter than left derelict.

Others said the first they heard of the squatters was when more than 100 people attended an all-night “leaving” party on Friday.

It comes as landowners Hyde, who were knocked back in plans to build flats on the site in April, revealed they would shortly be submitting a third application to develop the plot.

The former Bellerbys College site has been vacant since 2007.

During this time Hyde has been twice unsuccessful with plans to build dozens of flats on the land, which is opposite Hove Park.