Neighbourhood plan outlines vision for future of Kessingland

Picture shows: Kessingland looking towards LowestoftMandatory picture credit: Mike PageVarious image

Picture shows: Kessingland looking towards LowestoftMandatory picture credit: Mike PageVarious images from Mike Page's new book; Suffolk Coast from the air, published October 2006.For Archant use only, no syndication. - Credit: Mike Page

It is one of the Suffolk coast's most popular tourist destinations which is famous for its history as an age-old fishing village.

But today, Kessingland risks losing its lifeblood of young residents to neighbouring areas unless it can provide more affordable housing and better job prospects, a report into his future has warned.

Although its fishing heyday has passed, the village has grown substantially from around 600 houses in the early 1960s to a population of more than 4,000 today.

Many people who holidayed in those days to its beach and heath - designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the 1970s - put their roots down there, seeing it as a great place to retire.

'It was due to the popularity of Kessingland as a holiday venue that fuelled the development in the 1960s and 1970s which grew the village to the size it is today,' the recently-published draft Kessingland Neighbourhood Plan says.

Holiday camps and caravan sites have traditionally provided people with seasonal work, with many residents travelling to nearby Lowestoft to work.

But Kessingland Parish Council fears that its young people are leaving to take up employment opportunities elsewhere.

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'There are a substantial number of families in Kessingland who are looking to stay in the community,' parish council chairman Liam Martin said.

'But to stay, you've got to have everything else that goes with it - you've got to have the infrastructure, a good school and employment.

'If that isn't there, that's why people move away.'

The vision of the draft plan, which is currently subject to a consultation process with residents, is that by 2030: 'Kessingland has become a place where young people can grow up and can stay when they start a family.

'This is because new housing has addressed their needs.'

Mr Martin added: 'The idea of this plan is to make sure is to make sure we provide some sort of stability for the community in the years to come.

'We've got to accept there's a housing shortage and that there's got to be housing.

'However we can't build a whole estate of properties over £200,000 went people are looking to rent or move into something more affordable.'

What do you think should happen to Kessingland in the future? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk