Waveney Local Plan

Key issues in Southwold and Reydon

019 Southwold

Southwold and Reydon are located on the coast approximately 20 kilometres south of Lowestoft. The population of Southwold is 1,098 and Reydon is 2,582. Southwold is surrounded by marshland to the north, west and south. This has effectively constrained the growth of the town. Southwold acts as an important tourism destination and as such has a vibrant town centre with a good range of shops and services. However, the increasing presence of national retailers is changing the character of the town. Reydon is where most of the local population reside.

Southwold and Reydon have the highest house prices in the District. In Southwold, 35% of dwellings are second homes or holiday homes which contributes to the high house prices. The population of Southwold has an average age of 60 which is much older than other parts of the District. Whilst between the two settlements most everyday services are accommodated, Southwold and Reydon do not benefit from any secondary education provision.

Southwold and Reydon are set in an attractive natural environment and are wholly within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Southwold is also within the Suffolk Heritage Coast. The marshland to the south of Southwold is designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest and there are numerous County Wildlife Sites around the two settlements.

Southwold also benefits from a rich historic environment, including the grand Georgian buildings around the numerous greens to Southwold Harbour.

Tourism is an important sector for Southwold. A third of working residents are employed in either accommodation and food services or retail. Whilst 53% of working people who live in Southwold and Reydon also work in Southwold and Reydon, there are more jobs in the two settlements than working people who live there. Additionally the majority of workers in Southwold and Reydon commute into the two settlements from elsewhere. This could indicate that many people who work in the town cannot afford to live in the town or Reydon. 20% of residents in Southwold and Reydon work from home, which is double the District average.