Public meeting called over caravan site

BUSINESSES in Southwold have invited representatives from Waveney District Council to a public meeting on the future of the town's caravan site.The cash-strapped district council announced last month it would be selling the Harbour camping and caravan site because it could not afford to bring it up to modern standards.

BUSINESSES in Southwold have invited representatives from Waveney District Council to a public meeting on the future of the town's caravan site.

The cash-strapped district council announced last month it would be selling the Harbour camping and caravan site because it could not afford to bring it up to modern standards.

The decision angered Southwold Town Council, Southwold Caravan Owners' Association (SCOA) and the Harbour Users' Association, who all fear that a take-over by a private company will change the atmosphere of the site and the town's 'way of life'.

Now Southwold and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce has invited the leader and chief cxecutive of the district council and anyone who has an interest in the sell-off of the Ferry Road site to a public meeting at St Edmund's Church on Mondayat 7pm.


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Chairman Stephan Cornell, co-owner of Sutherland House Restaurant, said: "We feel that in the long term, selling the site will affect Southwold as a product and shops and people who want to come and live here, and therefore the value of property."

Local groups are supporting two bids by Southwold Caravan Transport and a consortium of local people backed by the town council to buy the land from the district council.

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SCOA is also raising a petition among people, businesses and conservation groups to be presented to the district council.

Caravan owner, Lyn Harrison, of Dartford, Kent, said: "Waveney claim that the site is substandard as deemed by the Caravan Sites Control and Development act of 1989.

"Since that time and since the site's beginning 52 years ago there have been on average 169 caravans paying in excess of £1,000 each every year. Where have all these funds gone? In the last ten years since I have been a site holder, the shower block has been painted, new curtains have been installed and recently some landscape gardening has gone ahead. Where has all this money gone and more importantly if the council knew of the act before why has it taken them 14 years to act upon it?

"I love Southwold. The town has given my family many wonderful memories. My caravan is more to me than a holiday home."

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said the funds had gone into council budgets.

The town council is also seeking legal help in determining the ownership of the land, as it believes the site was left to the town in the early 16th Century and was never formally handed over to the district council when it was formed in 1974.

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