If village green status is granted, the owners will have to open the beach
A party to raise awareness about the closure of a beach to the public has been held in an East Sussex port town.
It was part of a campaign to reclaim West Beach, in Newhaven, which was closed by its owners, Newhaven Port and Properties, because of an unsafe wall.
Many of the party organisers were taken to the beach as children and want it classified as a "village green" so they can have access to it again.
Newhaven Town Council has asked the county council to change its status.
If village green status is granted, the French owners would be forced to open the beach back up to the public.
This is possible if local residents can prove they have used an open area for activities such as kite flying, dog walking, picnicking and sports for at least 20 years.
Throughout last summer the town council gathered evidence from local residents to support the application.
More than 1,000 people filled in forms stating that they had used the beach, of which 60 people gave more detailed evidence agreeing that, if necessary, they would be willing to appear in person to corroborate their evidence at a public inquiry.
About 300 family photos taken on the beach between the 1930s and 2008 were also brought in to the town council offices, where they were scanned, printed and made into an album of photographic evidence to accompany the application.
The application was submitted to East Sussex County Council on 16 December 2008.