For dozens of years they have stood in a quiet part of Sussex basking in the great outdoors.

But residents in Old School Place, Hove, want to say goodbye to these 80-foot trees claiming they blight their everyday lives.

Despite attempts to cut them back, householders who live in the shadow of the giant perennials say they have their hands tied as they are protected.

This means despite fears the roots could cause damage to their homes, they cannot cut them down.

Brighton and Hove City Council , which has ultimate say over what is done with the trees, says it is up to locals to apply to them for permission to cut them back and then pay for the work.

Richard Frost, of Old School Place, said: “It’s just reached a ridiculous state of affairs.

“They were not this big five years ago when we moved in.

“But they have shot up in the last few years and now they are four or five metres above the tops of the houses.”

About ten households are affected by the five trees which are protected by a preservation order.

They were originally planted in the grounds of the former school in Stapley Road and remained when the properties were built in the last decade.

Locals claim the trees block out light from their homes while one added he could not dig in his garden as there were too many roots.

They are also worried the roots are growing under their homes and will cause subsidence.

Another said that falling leaves caused drains and gutters to block with others saying the smallest amount of wind caused a lot of noise as the branches waved about.

Tina Cooper, who has lived in nearby Rowan Avenue, Hove, for 28 years, said: “We’re just fed up at not being able to do anything.”

A council spokeswoman said it had received one complaint about the trees.

She added: “There is no inherent right to light to a property or its garden. A separate right to light can be acquired if the light has been uninterrupted for at least 20 years.

“For the right to be infringed, the loss of that light must be substantial and significantly interfere with the reasonable use and enjoyment of the property. This will not apply to gardens.”