A set of grey concrete letters described as "Hollywoodesque" by Falmouth University has been dubbed a "concrete carbuncle" by angry residents.

A small crowd gathered at Woodlane in Falmouth last Wednesday as the university unveiled the 1.2 metre high letters which spelling out the name of the town, but online the move was called "megalomania" and the sign branded an "unimaginative carbuncle."

There were also complaints that trees had to be cut down to make way for the blocks, and questions over who would be responsible for their maintenance.

The letters had been wrapped in Christmas paper, which was torn away by Falmouth Mayor John Body, Richard Gates and Richard Wilcox from the Falmouth Town team, local councillors, staff of the university, and designers.

Professor Anne Carlisle, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Falmouth University, said: “It’s important the letters represent the whole town, not just the university, to celebrate the place we call home, which provide us with such a beautiful setting for staff and students.”

The university tweeted about the event, but received some less-than-appreciative responses. Jessica Jenkins called the move "unsightly megalomania" and A Country Lady (@a_country_lady) asked "but why did lots of lovely trees have to be cut down for this?"

Rachael Baskeyfield (@rachwa_b) wrote: "Concrete's no fun, surely such a seed bed of creativity like Falmouth could think of more engaged ways to spend the budget?"

Online at the ThePacket.co.uk, two separate comments called the design a "concrete carbuncle," while Mollymade wrote: "I'm utterly disgusted at that unimaginative carbuncle which now dominates Woodlane.

"Considering the university runs design courses did it ever consider commissioning some design?"

She added that the money - which "would be better off funding student courses" - could have been spent on environmental art to work with the trees, and said to "plonk" the word Falmouth in the middle of a residential area "adds nothing."

Hughgast wrote "Hideous! Self-congratulatory egotism gone mad and of no worth to local people at all," and said it was the university marking its territory "like a rampant dog."

He suggested the university meant well, but would do better to place the letters on campus and replace them with benches in Woodlane.

There were some supporters however, with Yosarin writing "I rather like it" and Stevepascoe27 adding: "This area was in a real mess for years with neglected trees/walls/bench/pavement. Looks great compared to that."

And Claudius added: "Blimey just think of the destruction of the trees if we lived in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch."

The university's head of communications, Robert Hillier, said they had received mainly positive comments, and said that the presence of the town team and council representatives at the launch showed it was "a Falmouth town event as much as a Falmouth University event."

He called the sign "iconic," and said: "It welcomes people to the university but provides a Hollywoodesque styling for the town."

Mr Hillier added that there will always be opposing opinions over design and the university had worked with a "well regarded local design agency," - Falmouth-based 20/20 - and while there had been trees at the site it was "a pretty unsightly area.

Regarding the chosen site, he said: "There are lots of things that mark the entrance to Falmouth. The university owns that land and it does a job of marking the entrance to the university, which does attract many thousands of people every year."