Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd v East Sussex County Council  EWHC 647 (Admin)27.03.12
Steven Sauvain QC appeared for the Council in this important new case.
The High Court (Ouseley J) quashed the decision to register Newhaven East Beach a a village green.
The judgement deals with a number of interesting issues including the question whether it is necessary for land to have the character of a traditional village green (no); whether the changing boundary and intermittent availability of the beach due to the tide precluded registration (no); whether use was permissive by virtue of unpublished byelaws or by virtue of the land being foreshore (no); and whether the absence of a public right of way to the land precluded registration (no).
The most important aspect of the case for those involved in village greens - whether as applicants, landowners, developers or registration authorities - will be the Court's conclusion that the land could not be registered if there were foreseeable circumstances in which that could hinder or conflict with the statutory functions for which the land was held. In the case of the Newhaven beach there was evidence of the Port's plans for the future and conflict with village green status was foreseeable. Accordingly the registration was quashed.
This case may have important implications for applications which are made in relation to land held for other statutory functions.
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