The developer which reclaimed land in the centre of Brighton from community gardeners is facing investigation.
Hargreaves, which is based in Littlehampton, is accused of trashing the site at The Mound in Church Street.
The community gardeners have made a complaint to Brighton and Hove City Council, saying: “Hargreaves have completely trashed The Mound garden in Brighton.
“It was demolished with no warning.
“Vegetable beds, seed nurseries, a wildlife conservation area – including a pond containing tadpoles and newts – were all destroyed.
“A notice by the pond which explained that there were newts was deliberately smashed up by the clearance gang.”
The land was a derelict eyesore before the community gardeners decided to brighten it up.
Councillor Pete West, the council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “If these reports are true it’s an outrage.
“I’ll be asking officers about whether there was any legal protection on wildlife there, whether any laws have been broken and if so whether anyone can be prosecuted.
“Even if no action can now be taken, the whole city will want to signal its disgust at such vandalism.
“In any case the developers will now be punished by a PR disaster of their own making.”
The community gardeners fear that the site will remain an eyesore for years to come.
They said: “Since opening in January, The Mound had shown gardening films, had seedbomb workshops, held free soup kitchens and been a mecca for locals and visitors to Brighton of a weekend.
“During this time there had been only positive feedback and the space had been 100 per cent trouble-free.”
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