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November 7 2014.

The long-running legal battle over village green status for the sandy West Beach in Newhaven reached its final stage earlier this week when the case was heard by the Supreme Court. The owner of the beach, Newhaven Port and Properties was appealing against the decision in 2013 by the Court of Appeal that the beach could be registered as a village green.

Five justices - Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath and Lord Hodge – spent two days listening to arguments both for and against registration of the beach. They will now go away and consider what they have heard before writing their judgements.

The Town Mayor of Newhaven, Councillor Judith Ost, explained: “We know how passionately the people of Newhaven feel about the beach and how much they want to see it reopened. The issues surrounding this have now been considered by the highest court in the land and we hope very much that the judgement will be in our favour. If we win, the town council looks forward to working with the Port Authority to get the beach opened as soon as possible in a way that is safe for the public. If we lose, we will continue to try and work with the Port Authority in a co-operative way to get the beach open, as we always have.”

The judgement is expected in the New Year.