Cornwall Council charging businesses for sea access

Does Cornwall Council have the right to charge business for access to the sea?

ELF was approached by a local father who’s child attends a surfing school and who has lots of contacts in the surfing community. Cornwall’s decision to, in effect, charge for access to the sea, has widespread implications – especially for the many social enterprises, charities and one-person businesses which use the beach and sea.

This includes most surfing schools, some of which have been given planning permission for specific-purpose premises close to a beach. Is the beach public open space? Should the council be charging for using the beach to access the sea, or for using a beach? Should running clubs which use a park?

This issue is being pursued locally on behalf of the individual and by ELF Pro-Bono Law Clinic at Birmingham University Law School.