Newhaven port-row protesters picnic on shut West Beach

Campaigners climb over barriers Campaigners climbed over the barriers on to the beach during the protest

Related Stories

Campaigners fighting for access to a beach in East Sussex have held a protest picnic on the sand.

People started gathering at low tide, when the sand appeared at West Beach in Newhaven.

The Court of Appeal has ruled the beach can be listed as a village green, giving residents the right to use it.

But owner Newhaven Port and Properties is appealing against the ruling to the Supreme Court, and has said the beach remains closed for safety reasons.

Newhaven town councillor Carla Butler said about 200 people turned up and about 100 people, including the mayor, gathered on the beach.

She said campaigners were being "very careful" in terms of safety issues.

She added: "I think Newhaven Port needs to start to listen to the public and work with the town council."

'Cruelly barricaded'

Newhaven Village Green Preservation Society organised the picnic - which included entertainment, banners and bunting. The group said campaigners covered the gates with blankets and used ladders to scale the barriers.

Campaign flag and bunting The "picnickers" used knickers to make bunting and waved pirate flags

Protesters said residents had been "cruelly barricaded" from the once-popular tourist beach, which was the only sandy stretch for miles.

They said some residents had been using the beach in recent weeks after the gates were repeatedly vandalised at night.

Earlier this month, the port owners issued a statement which said: "Please note despite local rumours and antics to the contrary, the sandy beach remains closed to the public."

It said the beach would remain closed while legal action continued and added: "This is because there are still serious health and safety issues and the access is very dangerous."

The statement said the fence and signage at the beach clearly indicated there was no access and it said the public should not put themselves at risk of injury.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Sussex

Weather

Brighton

13 °C 9 °C

Features

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Worcestershire flagFlying the flag

    Preserving the identities of England's counties


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • Two women in  JohanesburgYour pictures

    Readers' photos on the theme of South Africa


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.