Demonstration to call for reopening of West Beach in Newhaven

West Beach Newhaven
West Beach Newhaven

Protestors are poised to descend on West Beach in Newhaven for another demonstration where they will call for the area to be reopened to the public.

They are inviting residents to join them for the protest which will take the form of a picnic on the beach on Saturday August 23 from 2pm.

Newhaven Town Council and beach owner Newhaven Port and Properties (NPP) are currently locking horns in a lengthy legal battle to register the beach as a village green.

The Court of Appeal decided that the beach could be registered as a village green but it has yet to be officially registered.

East Sussex County Council, which is the Village Green Registration Authority, is waiting for the next stage in the process - which will be to go to the Supreme Court.

NPP are appealing to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Appeal Court and a hearing is due to take place in November.

The hope was registering the West Beach as a village green would help to ensure access for residents.

The beach has been closed since 2008 by NPP due to health and safety concerns.

A fence was put up this summer which made it even more difficult for residents to access the beach.

Heather McLean, from pressure group We Love Newhaven, said: “We feel that they have shown us nothing but deep contempt and before the High Court hearing pencilled in for November we would once again appeal to them to remove the barriers and repair the steps to allow us to feel the sand beneath our toes.

“I’ll add that this year instead of knickers we ask that everyone bring socks.

“Also we are very excited to have a couple of our French Dieppe supporters there on the day.”

The Newhaven Village Green annual picnic is being organised by Newhaven Village Green Preservation Society and We Love Newhaven.

All are welcome to take part in the peaceful but irreverent protest.

They should bring banners, underwear, socks and ladders, as well as blankets.

Musicians and dancers are being encouraged to attend too.

Heather added: “The more we share this, the more support we will get and the more people will know what is happening here.

“When I start to tell people about our beach, people still don’t believe such a thing could happen.

“Let’s show NPP that we are not for fencing off.”