Southwold: Survey underpins plans for resort’s growth

Visitors enjoying the hottest day of the year in Southwold earlier this month

Visitors enjoying the hottest day of the year in Southwold earlier this month - Credit: Archant

An action plan is being drawn up to help shape the future of Southwold after hundreds of people responded to a major survey about the town.

The completed Southwold Town Plan questionnaires have now been processed and organisers say the initial results show clear trends.

Safeguarding the unique character of Southwold, preserving the independent nature of the High Street and providing more affordable housing were highlighted as some of the key concerns.

There was also a strong response on environmental issues, such as coastal erosion, maintenance of the Blyth estuary, ship-to-ship oil transfers and discharge of sewage into the sea.

More than 60% of Southwold residents, 37% of second home owners, 30% of Reydon residents and 400 visitors to the town completed the survey. Adrian Durrant, of the Southwold Town Plan steering group, said the results provided strong evidence of public opinion and the data would be incorporated into an action plan to be used in negotiations with stakeholders over future development.

Mr Durrant said: “It provides the evidence that is needed to go to various authorities and say ‘let’s sit down with you, these are the initiatives that the community has proposed, let’s look and see whether there is some way of trying to work together on this’.

“It is about spending budgets wisely and in line with the wishes of the Southwold and Reydon community.”

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Mr Durrant said the survey results showed that the majority of people were in favour of nuclear power generation and the development of Sizewell C, but there were concerns about ship-to-ship oil transfers. The steering group is planning to publish the action plan in the autumn.