Injunction halts beach party

PLANS for a beach party at King Edward’s Bay this weekend have been halted by a county court injunction.

James Toffrey invited more than 2,500 people on Facebook to the Tynemouth bay this Saturday from noon onwards, promising a DJ and barbecue.

But North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police got wind of the event and took action to stop it.

At a county court hearing in North Shields on Thursday afternoon, a judge agreed to the injunction, saying the event would cause a nuisance to others attending the beach and also because correct procedures had not been followed for hosting such an event.

Toffrey, of Thornhill Drive in Whitley Bay, created the group Beach Party!! King Eddies Bay Tynemouth on the social networking site, and on Thursday it showed that 2,677 people had been invited along.

The 21-year-old was served a notice by a police officer on Thursday morning about the injunction and consequently posted on the group that the event was no longer happening.

The borough has been experiencing some of the best weather of the year this week and hundreds of families are expected to flock to the coast at the weekend to make the most of the sunshine.

Representing North Tyneside Council at the injunction, Peter Rowbottom said: “King Edward’s Bay is one of the smaller beaches that North Tyneside Council has an interest in and property rights over, and the capacity of the beach would struggle with 2,000 people.”

This is the third year in a row that authorities have had to take an injunction out on proposed parties on beaches in North Tyneside organised over Facebook.

A spokesperson for North Tyneside Council said: “We want as many people as possible to enjoy our fantastic beaches.

“However, we have a responsibility to ensure any event taking place on council-owned land is safe and well-organised.

“In this case, the organiser made no attempt to discuss arrangements with our team or request permission for this large-scale beach party.

“As a result, the event may not only have spoiled the experience of other beach users, but it could have put people’s safety at risk.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Geoff Cross, who covers the area, said: “Our primary concern is the safety of local residents and members of the public as well as making sure anti-social behaviour is kept to a minimum in the area.

“Anyone wishing to hold an event on the beach can do so by applying through the normal channels and liaising with the council to make sure the event is held legally and that the safety of those attending and local residents is not compromised.”

The injunction prevents James Toffrey or anyone else from organising parties on beaches in North Tyneside between now and October.