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Hopes boosted in Newhaven West Beach path battle
A right of way to a sandy beach, closed in a controversial battle between the port authority and the residents of Newhaven, could be restored.
East Sussex County Council today formally published a public notice widening and extending a right of way on to West Beach, for public consultation.
Town mayor Julie Carr celebrated the move as the “latest victory for common sense”.
The towncouncil applied for the right of way in connection with an ongoing campaign for the beach to be registered as a Village Green.
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Newhaven Port and Properties closed the beach amid health and safety concerns, claiming access to the beach was dangerous. But residents have “liberated” the beach, ignoring fencing and spending summer days on the beach.
Now a thin line on the current legal register of all rights of way, passing along the promenade behind the sandy beach from the end of Fort Road to the shingle beach on the west of the harbour arm, is being widened. It also adds the steps which lead to the sandy beach from the promenade.
The first definitive map, produced in the 1950s, showed thesame right of way as a thicker line forg the full width of the promenade.
Coun Julie Carr said: “I am absolutely delighted at this latest victory for common sense and for rights of the people of Newhaven.
“Once again, I would like to invite Newhaven Port and Properties to sit down and talk to the town council so that we can work together to find the best way to get the beach open for local people as soon as possible and in a way that is both safe and doesn’t get in the way of port operations.”
The town council is waiting for a decision from the Supreme Court as to whether it will give owners Newhaven Port and Properties permission to appeal against the Appeal Court’s decision to allowthe beach to become a village green.
An East Sussex County Council spokesman confirmed the order modifying the existing right of way to cover the whole width of the promenade and the steps from the promenade to the beach.
He said: “Any interested parties have until October 28 to make any representations or objections. If none are received, the council will confirm the order.
“If representations or objections are received the matter will be referred to the Secretary of State for Environment, who has the power to hold a hearing or public inquiry if this is deemed necessary.”
The order can be seen at the town council offices in Fort Road.
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