Appeal against decision to prevent Newhaven West Beach from becoming a village green

An appeal to allow the popular West Beach in Newhaven to become a village green will begin tomorrow.

Newhaven Town Council is appealing against a decision made by the judge at the Judicial Review held in November 2011, where it was decided the beach should not be registered as a village green.

It will be heard from 10am tomorrow (Tuesday February 26) at the Royal Courts of Justice in London and is expected to last four days.

East Sussex County Council is leading the appeal in defence of its decision to register the beach.

Newhaven Port and Properties, which owns the beach, closed it in 2006 citing health and safety reasons.

The Sussex Express is awaiting a response from Newhaven Port and Properties.

At the judicial review, the judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, concluded that the beach could not be registered as a village green.

Newhaven Town Council said it had provided significant evidence that the beach had been used by local people for more than 20 years as of right for lawful sports and pastimes.

A village green does not have to be grassy, or in the middle of a village and that it does not matter that the land is covered by the tide for part of the day.

The reason that the beach could not be registered, according to the judge was that registration would not be compatible with the statutory purpose of the land, which was running a port.

The Appeal will look closely at this point, which is disputed by both East Sussex County Council and Newhaven Town Council. Inevitably, it will also reconsider all the issues raised at both the Public Inquiry and the Judicial Review.