Night time protest calls for return of Newhaven beach

One of the banners at the protest in Newhaven.
One of the banners at the protest in Newhaven.

Around fifty protesters gathered at West Beach in Newhaven to welcome the ferry carrying VIP passengers from France on Saturday November 16.

The demonstrators arrived at West Beach at 8.30pm and flashed car head lights, honked horns, used wuwuzelas, sang and shouted as the boat arrived.

They even strung up fairy lights, used torches, lit candles and enjoyed hot chocolate, before following the ship alongside the harbour.

One of the protest organisers Heather McLean said: “We don’t want to break any rules but we want them to know that we are still here and we are not going away.”

It was organised by Newhaven residents Zoe Busby and Heather McLean via social media, with only a day of notice after a tip off about the French visit.

Passengers on the boat were even cheering the demonstrators, according to Heather.

They were alerted to the visit from prospective politicians from Dieppe by Newhaven councillor Carla Butler.

Newhaven’s sandy beach has been closed to the public since 2008 by the French owners Newhaven Port and Properties.

Since then the beach has been the subject of a long and bitter battle between Newhaven Town Council, who want the beach to be open to the public and the owners.