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‘Protect Southwold’s uniqueness’ Michael Palin urges as Costa Coffee gets set to open in the town

PUBLISHED: 21:33 23 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:42 23 August 2012

Michael Palin opens the new extension to the Southwold Electric Picture Palace.

Michael Palin opens the new extension to the Southwold Electric Picture Palace.

© Archant 2012

Michael Palin has called for Southwold’s “unique character” to be protected after campaigners were defeated last week in their battle to stop a national chain opening in the town.

The TV travel presenter and Monty Python star said it was important to protect Southwold’s “harmony” to prevent it becoming like other seaside towns across the country.

It comes after Costa Coffee was given the green light last week to open a café at 70 High Street – a move which objectors fear will harm the business of its independent traders.

Speaking at an event tonight (Thursday, August 23) to re-launch Southwold’s Electric Picture Palace cinema, he said: “I don’t think anywhere can totally resist change, but Southwold is a very special place. It’s a town full of harmony and architectural features that go together beautifully and the fact that is still here is wonderful.

“I wouldn’t be very happy if they started knocking through walls and putting in big supermarkets.

“Southwold has got a uniqueness that comes from being slightly cut off, but we have to keep its unique image because we do not want it to look the same as every other seaside town.

“The place has such a wonderful feeling – why would you want to change it much?”

The legendary comic developed an affinity with Southwold after holidaying in north Suffolk as a child and went on to meet his wife Helen in the town, while his parents retired to the area in 1966.

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