Site Specific Allocations

Adopted January 2011

6. Southwold and Reydon Area


Southwold Town Sign.jpg6.1 Southwold and Reydon are located on the coast approximately 20 kilometres south of Lowestoft. The main road access from the A12 is along the A1095 to the west and Lowestoft Road to the north. There are bus connections from Southwold to Halesworth, Wangford and Lowestoft. Neither Southwold nor Reydon are connected to the rail network. Southwold is a specialist shopping centre, serving the needs of tourism and local people. Reydon is the location for much of the residential community. The population of Southwold in 2007 was 1,220 and Reydon 2,610.

6.2 Southwold is situated on a hill which rises gently from the Blyth Valley. The River Blyth to the south and Buss Creek to the north form the natural boundaries to the town. Southwold lies totally within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Suffolk Heritage Coast. In addition, large areas of land on the outskirts of the town have been designated as County Wildlife Sites; namely Buss Creek, Southwold Town Marshes, Southwold Denes and Walberswick Saltmarsh. The marshes around the common have also been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is these designations that have determined the planning policy approach to Southwold in the past, in terms of the need to conserve the natural beauty of the area.

6.3 Southwold has a rich heritage stretching back to Roman times. The town began as a small fishing community and prospered until much of the town was damaged by fire. When rebuilt, this gave rise to some of the town's most distinctive features, the greens. The town later became fashionable during the Victorian period.

Southwold Pier.jpg6.4 A large part of the town lies within the Conservation Area to protect the townscape which reflects this Victorian character. The character of the built up area provides a focal point for the tourism industry in the south of the District which compliments the natural attractions of the landscape. However, during the summer months Southwold experiences traffic congestion and lack of parking due to the high number of tourists visiting the resort. This can detract from the special qualities of the built and natural environment of the town.

6.5 Reydon is located to the northwest of Southwold, on the opposite side of Buss Creek. As with Southwold the whole village and its surrounding area is situated within the AONB. County Wildlife Sites lie on the southwest and southeast boundaries of the village. The surrounding countryside is flat farmland, with arable farming to the west and pig farming to the north. Much of this land takes the form of large open fields divided up by mature hedgerows. This village is the largest population centre in the Southwold/Reydon area. As such, nearly the entire village is residential and much of the housing is of a suburban style and character. The A1095 is the main road, which runs south through the village connecting Southwold with the A12 at Blythburgh.

6.6 There are two larger villages in the area. West of Southwold and Reydon is Wangford, home to 640 people and to the north is Wrentham with a population of 940. These villages are located on the A12 and have some services and facilities. Therefore, some small scale development in the future may be permitted.

6.7 There are significant constraints associated with development in the Southwold Area. Along with the aforementioned conservation area and designated landscapes, climate change and coastal erosion will play an increasingly important factor in future development in Southwold. Shoreline Management Plans are prepared by the Council in conjunction with neighbouring local authorities and the Environment Agency to address the issues of coastal erosion along the coast.

6.8 There are significant flood risk issues in the area of Buss Creek which flows between Southwold and Reydon. This has been identified in the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (2007). The Blyth Estuary Strategy (2009) also has flooding implications for Southwold harbour and the wider area.

Delivering the Core Strategy Vision for the Southwold / Reydon Area

6.9 The Core Strategy has identified several local needs in the area. There is a need for some small-scale housing development in the future and particularly affordable housing. Existing undeveloped employment land in the area should continue to be protected and enhanced playing field provision is needed in Reydon to support local teams. In addition, there is a need to accommodate a new doctors surgery/healthy living centre and the Council would like to provide a Customer Access Centre to improve engagement between the community and public/voluntary service provision.

6.10 Public consultations have had an important role in helping to identify land allocations in the area and how they should be developed.

Residential Development
6.11 Policies CS01: Spatial Strategy and CS11: Housing indicate that both Southwold and Reydon will experience only very limited, small-scale development due to the shortage of brownfield sites.

6.12 House prices in Southwold and Reydon are much higher than the national average and those found in other parts of Waveney. A local needs assessment conducted by Suffolk ACRE in 2006, for Southwold Town Council, indicated a need for affordable housing for local people, including a hidden need for both smaller and family-sized accommodation. This is reflected in the findings of the Waveney Housing Market Assessment (2007).

6.13 The Council has already made considerable progress in delivering the housing requirement for the District to 2025. Southwold/Reydon have seen 169 dwellings completed between 2001 and 2009 and another 98 have planning permission. Over the same period a total of 80 dwellings have either been completed or have permission in Wrentham and 19 in Wangford.

6.14 Given the amount of housing already developed or with planning permission, only modest further housing development is proposed for the Southwold/Reydon area. The additional housing proposed is primarily 'enabling' development, to achieve wider community benefits. The former Eversley School playing field is allocated (SOU2) for housing as part of a mixed use site but with the primary purpose of enabling the delivery of additional playing fields at the former Reydon High School site and providing a focal point for Reydon in the form of a village green.

Industrial Development
6.15 The Waveney Employment Land Study (2006) revealed a good take-up of land at the Reydon Business Park, Fountain Way and that further employment land may need to be allocated to accommodate future needs. The study recommended the retention of the Waveney Interim Local Plan (May 2004) allocation at Fountain Way. This land is therefore, allocated for industrial development to meet the accommodation needs of a range of businesses in the period to 2021 (SOU1).

Community Facilities
6.16 The Reydon and Southwold Recreational Development Council has identified a need for improved sports provision to serve the communities of Southwold and Reydon. A quantitative deficiency in playing pitch provision in the area was also demonstrated in the Waveney Playing Pitch Assessment (2002). Additional junior and adult football pitches are required, plus a new pavilion to provide improved changing and social facilities for teams. Land is therefore allocated at the former Reydon High School site (SOU3).

6.17 There is also a need in the Southwold area for a new doctors surgery/healthy living centre, which could be co-located with a customer access centre for other public sector/voluntary service delivery. Identifying these uses on the former Eversley School playing field site will provide a central location for the provision of services in the local area (SOU2).

Southwold and Reydon Area Site Allocations

Southwold and Reydon Area Site Allocations.jpg

Southwold Area Site Allocations Table