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Southwold Caravan site

PUBLISHED: 10:32 01 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:10 05 July 2010

NO-ONE who was there could possibly forget it. To all those who packed St Edmunds Church - overflowing pews, spilling from the aisle into the churchyard beyond - Monday, October 27, 2003, remains a memorable day.

NO-ONE who was there could possibly forget it. To all those who packed St Edmunds Church - overflowing pews, spilling from the aisle into the churchyard beyond - Monday, October 27, 2003, remains a memorable day.

For on that day, those who love Southwold united against a common foe.

The danger that day was the threat that the Harbour caravan site would be sold off to a commercial venture, taking land belonging to the people of Southwold for nearly half a century and turning it into something that would both change the town's character forever and leach money from the local economy.

The press, TV cameras and local councillors were all on hand to hear the howls of protest.

But what has happened in the five years that have passed since that day?

Well, on the surface at least, not much has changed down on the caravan site. Most of the same caravans still sit in place and the site community continue to enjoy their quiet pursuits.

To most townspeople, the threat has vanished into thin air.

But do not be deceived. Behind this apparent tranquillity, the fight to safeguard the future of the caravan site continues unabated.

It's been a long struggle and following twists, turns, legal representations and meetings too numerous to record, the decision was taken to place the harbour lands - part of William Godell's original bequest to the town - into a non-profit making Trust for perpetuity.

The idea was to use revenue from the harbour lands (including around £250,000 generated every year by the caravan site alone) to reinvest into this precious part of the town. Pretty important, really, when you consider how vital it is to maintain the sadly neglected harbour wall, for instance.

But the proposed Trust has not yet been formed, leaving the future of the caravan site and harbour lands still hanging in the balance. The fight is not over. The threat remains. Why are we still waiting?

Now is the time for action and we implore all those who believe that the harbour lands should be safeguarded for the people of Southwold to make their views heard in any way they can.

The future of the harbour lands must be safeguarded for all those who love Southwold and future generations. Please apply pressure in any way you can to make sure this happens before apathy, procrastination and fence-sitting allow this golden opportunity to slip away.

HELEN RENSHAW

Southwold Caravan Owners' Association

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