Southwold residents have voted in favour of a proposal supporting a regeneration strategy for the town.

During a referendum, 87% of electors endorsed the Southwold Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out a vision for development until 2036.

It concentrates on rebuilding the permanent population through restricting the number of second homes built in the future and making more affordable housing possible for local people.

The innovative plan has been the most consulted on in the town’s history and will now be used to support any future planning applications.

Southwold Mayor Will Windell said the Plan was already making a difference, with a principal residence requirement to be placed upon the three market homes proposed for the former fire station site in Station Road.

“The high turnout of 37.8 % compared to other Neighbourhood Plan areas demonstrates once again the vibrancy of Southwold’s small resident community.

“People who live in the town care about it and engaged with creating a brighter future for the town.”

Michael Rowan Robinson, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan team added: “This Neighbourhood Plan has been six years in the making and reflects thousands of hours of work by the team.  I want to thank all of them for their dedication and perseverance as their work has created a lasting legacy.”

The Plan will see Southwold’s full-time resident population increase through community led housing schemes.

This is a special category of affordable housing that is not subject to the right to buy, where communities can prioritise people employed in the town, young people, key workers such as carers and others with a local connection.

There will also be a focus on providing workspace for start-up businesses, self-employed individuals and the expansion of existing businesses.

All development must feature high quality design to preserve the best features of the local character.

The full plan, policies and supporting documents, are available online at