Fishermen celebrating after council fails to claim coastal path land

Fisherman David Chambers is celebrating after council withdraws claim to land. Picture: Steve Adams

Fisherman David Chambers is celebrating after council withdraws claim to land. Picture: Steve Adams - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

Fishermen are celebrating after claiming victory in a fight over a patch of land in north Norfolk.

The land at West Runton subject to a dispute between fishermen and North Norfolk District Council. P

The land at West Runton subject to a dispute between fishermen and North Norfolk District Council. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

An application was made by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to register the land on the coastal path near the Sea View Beach Cafe in West Runton.

But fishermen claimed historic rights to the land, where they usually moor their boats in stormy weather, and David Chambers challenged the Land Registry.

The matter went to tribunal in July and Mr Chambers received a letter from the Land Registry saying the council had withdrawn its claim.

He posted a comment on social media to say he was 'thankful' for the result.


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He said: 'An interesting week, received letters from Land Registry telling us the council in Cromer has withdrawn its claim.

'We are now in full possession of our quay and pavilion and surrounding land. It's been a long hard fight. We stuck together and this is the result. I wonder how much money it cost the taxpayer?'

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Fellow fisherman Johnny Seago said: 'It's time we started to fight back against what seems a crusade to finish us.'

Back in May the council was accused of eroding fishermen's rights in the ongoing dispute over the land.

Meanwhile, the spat landed Mr Chambers in court in May where he was found guilty of harassing cafe owner Martin Hipkin.

But fellow fisherman Jon Dorey said he was just trying to safeguard the interests of Norfolk fishermen.

'Historically that bit of land has always been a storm refuge for fishermen to put their boats.' he said.

'The fishermen have been using that land for 50 or 60 years - it is a known fact.'

A council spokesman said at the time: 'The overarching ambition of NNDC is to improve the facilities at this Blue Flag beach for a range of users, including fishermen, users of the public toilet facilities, visitors interested in the West Runton Mammoth, beach users and local businesses. 'Safeguarding an area to act as a storm refuge for the fishermen and a public shelter has always been part of the council's ideas.'

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