Planning, Housing, Southwold Gateway
The Society is very active on planning and housing issues, responding to proposed new developments, working to safeguard the character of Southwold and Reydon, and Southwold's unique High Street.
In 2009 the Southwold and Reydon Society developed a Planning Manifesto for Southwold and Reydon, outlining the principles that the Society believes should be applied in local planning developments. Many of these principles have been incorporated into the Southwold Town Plan and the Reydon Village Plan, to which the Society contributed significantly.
In 2010 the Society recognised that it needed to establish some basic facts about housing and set up a group, under the chairmanship of Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson. It produced a detailed report in 2011 and this was updated in 2012 to reflect the latest changes and trends, available here.
The report covers the various categories of houses -occupied, vacant, second homes, holiday lets, and social housing (Local Authority rental, housing associations, housing charities) in Southwold and Reydon. It also looks at population figures.
In terms of the resident adult population it shows a decline of 27% in Southwold from 1328 in 2001 to 974 in 2011. Over the same period in Reydon the decline was much smaller - from 2240 in 2001 to 2192 in 2011 - a fall of 2 %.
Alongside the decline in the resident population there has been a big increase in the number of second homes and holiday lets. In Southwold 49% of all homes now fall into this category - up from 36% in 2001. In Reydon 14 % properties are either holiday lets or second homes.
This obviously puts pressure on those residents seeking to live and work in Southwold. Currently social housing in Southwold comprises 94 units, and 148 in Reydon - 8.6% of the total housing stock. The Society believes there is a need to expand the social and affordable home provision in Southwold and Reydon.
The area of Southwold from Station Road to Mights Bridge contains a number of sites that are likely to be developed over the next decade: the old service station site, the fire station, the police station and, in due course, the BT telephone exchange. The Society believes this offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an integrated vision for this area of Southwold. It has lobbied the Southwold Town Council to collaborate on developing this vision. It has also invited local architect Brian Haward to come up with an outline plan for the area and he has produced this very interesting sketch, which may help define the parameters of a comprehensive brief for The Southwold Gateway. Click here for a higher resolution PDF.