The former owners of a beachfront property purchased by the town of Cumberland have no right to dictate what the town can and can’t do with its newly acquired land, the town said in a legal filing last week.

The Jan. 9 filing in Cumberland County Superior Court asks a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the former owners of the Payson Property, one of the largest swatches of undeveloped land in Cumberland, located on Route 88.

A development company, 179 Foreside LLC, purchased 104 acres –nearly all of the property – in December, before immediately reselling 25 acres to the town of Cumberland.

Voters in November chose to borrow $3 million to finance the plan, giving the town its first municipally owned beach access.

The town’s portion of the property includes nine acres near Foreside Road, a half-mile right of way to the waterfront, and 14 acres of prime shorefront and tidal property with a nearly half-mile-long beach and a 220-foot-long pier.

But the former owners are trying to block public access, arguing in court that the town’s plans violate a 1997 conservation easement with the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust to preserve the property.

The town is arguing that the former owners can only enforce the conservation easement on the 2.2-acre parcel they retained after the sale, that they have no right to exert control over land it no longer owns, and that the town’s plans do not violate the agreement.

Cumberland officials plan to construct a parking facility, right-of-way trail and bathrooms to accommodate beach-goers.