Published: 16:42, 11 August 2020
| Updated: 17:04, 11 August 2020
A beach party which descended into chaos was initially billed as being a private barbecue for 20 friends and family, it can be revealed.
Before moving to Greatstone, on Romney Marsh, on Sunday the organised event was due to happen at Camber Sands in East Sussex.
Rother District Council - responsible for Camber beach - says it was originally told the event would be for no more than 20 friends and family, and it was initially granted permission.
However the council withdrew that after it realised tickets were being advertised online. It was then moved to Greatstone by organisers.
Thousands of people arrived at the coast on Sunday, on coaches, in minivans and in cars, causing traffic and parking, creating noise pollution and leaving residents concerned about social distancing.
Litter was also left strewn across the beach.
In addition, four police officers were left injured - one after being hit by a car.
The others had bottles thrown at them during a disturbance at 9pm - hours into the already out-of-control gathering.
They were all treated by paramedics.
A 29-year-old man from London who was arrested at the scene needed hospital treatment for an eye injury. He remains in custody.
The investigation now continues into the incident - including how the arrested man sustained the eye wound prior to police attendance.
Officers are also hunting the bottle throwers.
A police spokesman said: "Kent Police continues to investigate a disturbance in Greatstone at around 9pm on Sunday (August 9), during which four police officers were injured.
"One attending officer suffered a minor injury after being involved in a collision with a vehicle and a 29-year-old man from London was arrested at the scene.
"The man has since received hospital treatment for an eye injury and remains in custody.
"During the man’s arrest it is alleged that bottles were thrown and three other police officers reported injuries as a result.
"They were all treated at the scene by the South East Coast Ambulance Service.
"Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of this incident and locate the people involved.
"Officers would also like to know how the man arrested sustained an eye injury prior to police attendance."
It shows the vehicle colliding with the officer, who is flipped over the bonnet.
On Monday, the day after the party, hundreds of bags of litter were collected from the town and its sands by volunteers.
Organisers have since apologised for the party, which they admit got out of hand.
A spokesman for Rother District Council confirmed they told organisers the event could not go ahead at camber.
They said: "The event organiser initially contacted Rother to request permission to hold a small private BBQ event for no more than 20 friends and family for which permission was granted, along with some guidelines to assist with his planning.
"It came to light on August 9 that the organiser was in fact promoting and advertising tickets for a much larger event to take place at Camber Sands.
"The event organiser was contacted and advised that it was not possible to hold an event for more than 30 people without adequate advanced warning and detailed operational planning to ensure the safety of the public.
"The planning for such an event would have to follow the same detailed process Rother uses for all requests to hold special events over a certain size.
"He was therefore advised that the event numbers was outside of what had been permitted and could not go ahead for safety reasons, including COVID 19 guidelines."
Kent Police confirmed it was aware of the planned party but was told it was not taking place in Kent. They also say the number of people who turned up for it was "far more" than initially suggested.
"The event was subsequently held in Greatstone involving far more people than initial information had suggested."
The spokesman added: "Kent Police spoke to Sussex Police regarding this beach event, which was initially organised to take place in Sussex.
"The organisers were then contacted by Kent Police and officers were told the event would not be taking place in Kent.
"The event was subsequently held in Greatstone involving far more people than initial information had suggested.
"Kent Police officers remained at the scene throughout the day, reminding visitors of their personal responsibilities in relation Covid-19 and the wider community."
Rother council is now liaising with Sussex Police about another event being planned at Camber for this weekend.
The spokesman added: "We are aware of another event being advertised for this weekend at Camber Sands beach and are currently liaising with Sussex Police.
"The event organiser has not contacted the council or the police to facilitate the necessary planning and assessment to ensure public safety.
"The risks of Covid-19 have not gone away and each one of us has a part to play in preventing further outbreaks."
Anyone with information or video footage regarding the incident at Greatstone should call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting reference 09-0593.