People are being urged to have their say on plans to help decide the future of a town’s harbour lands.

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A consultation has been launched into draft proposals for the management of the area in Southwold, which also includes the caravan site.

They have been put together by a joint committee of the town council and Waveney District Council, which are managing the lands.

The proposal says the main use of the harbour should be as a working one, but it should be supported by leisure use and attracting broader tourism.

It adds: “It is essential to establish this clarity of vision for the harbour area as soon as possible in order to avoid previous situations where different external parties and internal council departments may have progressed proposals that could be inconsistent with this vision.”

The group is also proposing to explore the options for private investment and operation of the caravan site.

It says: “The current site is neither fulfilling its financial potential given its Southwold location and brand, nor providing a facility that is befitting of the character of Southwold.”

Town councillor Will Windell, chairman of the Southwold Town Council Working Group, said: “We are pleased that this proposal provides for local governance, and that the consultation will enable members of the public and stakeholders to help shape the future of the harbour lands.”

In the draft proposal the group say they do not wish to get into discussions with regard to ownership and liability of the harbour lands, but have identified a desire to start to develop and implement alternative governance for the harbour lands.

It is also proposed to commission external solicitors to develop sustainable long term models for revised ownership and control of the harbour lands.

They will be asked to address a number of issues including providing an open and transparent model that encourages local involvement, and ensuring reinvestment from surpluses generated within the harbour lands back into the area.

To view the draft proposals or for more information visit www.waveney.gov.uk.

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