Demonstration urging Newhaven Port and Properties to allow access to West Beach

The West Beach in Newhaven.
The West Beach in Newhaven.

A demonstration calling for access to be granted to Newhaven’s sandy beach will be held on Saturday August 17.

Organisers the Newhaven Village Green Preservation Society and We Love Newhaven are calling for residents to take part in the protest, which will take the form of a picnic.

Reclaimniming Newhaven's sandy beach.

Reclaimniming Newhaven's sandy beach.

This follows last weekend where the barriers at the beach were mysteriously bent back, allowing hundreds of people to use the sandy stretch, which is only revealed at low tide.

Protest organiser Heather McClean said: “For years now we have all been sitting around and all talking about how it is unfair and nobody seems to be doing anything much.

“So I said let’s go and have a peaceful picnic down there.

“We are going to bring some bunting - it’s our way of saying: ‘Knickers to you’.”

The protest will kick off at around 12 noon, as low tide will be at 2.30pm.

Organisers are calling for people to turn up with banners and to bring their own picnic food.

They are also appealing for musicians and dancers to get involved in the protest.

In addition organisers are planning to use pants as bunting to give Newhaven Port and Properties a message about the beach.

More able bodied residents have been managing to negotiate the barriers and access the beach for weeks now, but it was only last weekend when the barriers were bent back, that hundreds were able to get down on to the beach.

Facebook was full of photos of people who had decided to visit the beach as a result, commenting on their delight at being able to use the sandy beach again.

Word spread around the town quickly by word of mouth and social media that it was now easier to get on to the beach again.

Heather said:“This weekend seems to have been the starting point.

“Because of social networking and because everyone knows lots of other people here, word gets around quickly here.

“I know NPP have got health and safety concerns.

“It’s nothing personal. It’s just that we don’t agree with that is going on.

“We have won the right to have it registered as a village green.

“A lot of people think that it is their beach and there’s no getting away from that.”

Newhaven Port and Properties closed the beach in 2008 due to health and safety concerns.

Since then Newhaven Town Council and Newhaven Port and Properties have been locked in a legal battle over access to the beach.

The town council has been granted permission by the Royal Courts of Justice to turn the beach into a village green to guarantee access to the beach.

However Newhaven Port and Properties is currently seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.