When is a Village Green Not a Village Green? When its a Beach!

So says the Court of Appeal which has held that a tidal beach in Newhaven could be registered as a town or village green.

 Anyone can make an application to register land as a town or village green where a significant number of local inhabitants have used the land as of right for lawful sports and pastimes for a period of at least 20 years and where certain circumstances apply.

 Newhaven is a port town where a breakwater, built as part of the port development, caused an area of sand to build up (the beach). The beach was reached by stone steps leading down from a promenade. It is tidal and fully covered by the sea for 42% of the day. The application for registration was supported by considerable evidence that the beach had been used by local inhabitants as of right for lawful sports and pastimes for at least the 20 years expiring in April 2006.

 This is unlikely to be the end of the matter. The Port Authority has confirmed that it will apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court as the registration potentially affects their ability to re-develop the port under its statutory powers.

 For more information on village greens and the effect of their registration contact the head of our commercial department and property expert, Gillian Jones


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