Consultation on iconic harbour's future continues

PUBLISHED: 08:50 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:50 22 February 2019

Southwold harbour at dusk. Picture: Nick Butcher

Southwold harbour at dusk. Picture: Nick Butcher

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A range of "interesting and constructive views" have been received as people have their say on proposals for the future management of Southwold Harbour.

A consultation about Southwold harbour is continuing. Picture: Nick ButcherA consultation about Southwold harbour is continuing. Picture: Nick Butcher

With the iconic harbour’s future under scrutiny, drop-in events and a public meeting have been held in the coastal town as a consultation continues.

Southwold Town Council and Waveney District Council has proposed the creation of a new strategic body, which would oversee harbour operation, bringing expertise and experience to the management of the port.

A Waveney District Council spokesman said: “The purpose of the consultation is to listen to what people think about our proposals for the future of the Southwold Harbour lands and we have received a wide range of interesting and constructive views so far.

“The consultation finishes on March 1.

“Consideration will then be given to every response before final proposals are considered at a meeting of the Southwold Harbour joint committee on March 6.”

With information gathered from the consultation being considered before a final recommendation is made for councillors to consider next month, campaigners in Southwold have been buoyed by recent meetings.

Cath Pickles, chairman of Southwold Haven Port Stakeholders Group, said: “We’re cautiously optimistic but we are, of course, waiting to see the outcome of the public consultation and the recommendations that come from stakeholders.

“We’re hoping – and we’ve asked – that Waveney can continue to build trust by funding independent legal advice to all parties concerned so we can all be confident that the governing documents of any agreement can’t be misconstrued in the future.

“This has been going on for far too long.”

Bill Steele, resident of Southwold Harbour and secretary of Southwold Haven Port Stakeholders Group, added: “It was good to hear from Southwold town councillor, Will Windell, that the town council are committed to bringing Southwold Harbour under local control.

“And also from Kerry Blair, operations manager for Waveney District Council, that the caravan site profits will be ring-fenced to the harbour.”

David Beavan said: “I am hopeful that we may achieve an autonomous, locally controlled harbour authority and grateful that Waveney’s scrutiny committee unanimously agreed with my recommendation that all harbour committees must meet in public at least once a year.”

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