Since 1965, The Southwold and Reydon Society has worked to protect the character and amenities of our community. Membership is open to anyone whether they live here permanently or are visitors. The Society currently has some 400 members and has an Executive Committee which meets monthly.
Our work includes review of all local planning applications to ensure we maintain the quality of our location in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and, for much of Southwold, a conservation area. The Society comments on all applications we judge to be at odds with the character of our local environment. This work has won us the status of a recognised consultee by the Planning Authority. We also take part in other consultations, such as on the future of local health services, on the ownership and management of Southwold Harbour and the Blyth Estuary.
In addition, we lead or support campaigns on key issues affecting our community. Recently, these have included the threat to local shops from national chains like Costa Coffee, coastal erosion, health provision, transport, housing and the danger of a major oil spillage damaging the local environment and tourist industry on which much of the area's prosperity depends. Where appropriate, we also develop formal reports of our own. Examples include our Report on Housing and our Planning Manifesto. We are currently developing ideas to inform a debate on the development over the next fifty years of major sites at the entrance to Southwold which will become the entrance to the town for centuries to come. More broadly, the Society has been closely involved in drawing up a Town Plan for Southwold and a Village Plan for Reydon which will form a blueprint for the future. We have recently contributed to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan for Southwold and hope to do so for Reydon when the Parish Council begins their work on this.
We keep in close touch with our members not only by asking for views on any current issues but also through two open events each year. The AGM is held in April and includes the presentation of our very popular Excellence Awards to individuals nominated by our members for an outstanding contribution to our community. More details can be found on the Awards page. Each autumn we hold an annual lunch in the Autumn at which a speaker is invited to talk on a matter of local interest.
To be fully effective the Society needs as many people as possible to join and make their views known. We hope very much you will now take some time to have a look round our web site and become a member. Details are available in the Membership section.