Public opinion survey results for Southwold are unveiled

SURVEY: Richard Dales (left), chairman of the Southwold Town Plan steering group, hands over the com

SURVEY: Richard Dales (left), chairman of the Southwold Town Plan steering group, hands over the completed to mayor Simon Tobin.picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

The results of a major survey of public opinion in Southwold have been unveiled.

The Southwold Town Plan took a year-and-a-half to complete and involved the efforts of more than 40 volunteers.

It was formally handed over to the town council during an event at St Edmund's Hall, which was attended by more than 150 people.

The document is evidence of the community's wishes for the future development of the town and can be used as a reference point for the town, district and county councils when making decisions that affect Southwold.

It reveals that preserving the town's character, building more affordable housing, parking problems and protecting the environment are among the main concerns.

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More than 60pc of Southwold residents, 37pc of second home owners, 30pc of Reydon residents and 400 visitors to the town completed the survey.

Mayor of Southwold Simon Tobin thanked the steering group and said: 'The town council will be using this information for many years to come. It is something that the town council had asked the community to deliver because it is such an important document.'

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He said councillors would look in to starting work on a neighbourhood plan, which would give the community more influence over planning decisions under the Localism Act.

Adrian Durrant, of Southwold Town Plan steering group, said he was confident that people would be lobbying the town, district and county councils to ensure the action points in the town plan were followed up.

He added: 'The response to the questionnaire shows the interest and the care the community has. It would have taken a while to fill out so it demonstrates people's commitment to the town.'

Copies of the Southwold Town Plan are available from the town hall in exchange for a £1 donation to Southwold Voluntary Help Centre.

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