Southwold Haven Port Stakeholders Group
Southwold Haven Port Stakeholders Group 2019-07-25T19:15:57+00:00

Important Update
July 2019

At a meeting of the new Council, East Suffolk (ESC), with Southwold Town Council (STC) on Friday 5th July, ESC presented their totally unacceptable plan for the proposed Harbour Management Committee.

SHPSG will be fighting this plan with the view to:

1: Reduce the number of Committee members to 9 (currently East Suffolk Council proposal is for 11 members)

2: Our proposal is for:
East Coast Council – 3 seats (including chairman position)
Southwold Town Council – 2 seats
Independent members, with relevant experience and expertise – 4 seats

Save Southwold Harbour

On the 12th May, 2018, an informal meeting was held at Southwold Sailing Club.
In attendance were concerned business and property owners from the immediate Southwold Harbour area.
It was decided that a group be formed to properly represent all the stakeholders and users, both professional and recreational, to ensure the harbour maintains its unique appeal today and into the future.

A Just Giving page has been set up to help our campaign as we may need to appoint a barrister and a forensic accountant to find where all the money has gone! 


Our petition can be found at

Almost 4000 so far have signed at time of writing this (1 Nov 2018) with many more signing written petitions at the harbour.

Report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee,
Waveney District Council, Feb 7th 2019
By Cllr David Beavan
With the help of Cllr Simon Flunder and Cllr Ian Bradbury of Southwold Town Council,
Graham Hay Davison of Southwold and River Blyth Users Association
and Bill Steele of Southwold Haven Port Stakeholders Group.

Click HERE to see pdf of the report

Progress meeting with WDC

Southwold Harbour

Minutes of meeting

29 October 2018 – 11.00 am, G16 Riverside

Attendees: Kerry Blaire and Andrew Jarvis of Waveney District Council, Southwold Haven Port Users Group, a representatives from Southwold Caravan Owners, Southwold Town Council sent  their apologies.

  1. Waveney District Council’s issues with the 2015 model – The level of investment needed is too much for a trust (about £20m over the 20 years) and the worry about WDC being landed with it after insolvency.
  2. A revised proposal – They recognise local objections to the LATCo. They are devising “another way” and producing a paper in 4 to 6 weeks for the JHC and STC
  3. Explanation as to Harbour Users view –  The neighbourhood plan proposes bringing the harbour under local control. The original business and investment plan submitted for the Harbour Trust is still valid. The outstanding investment needs – the south training arm and caravan site improvements – comes to £4.6m over the next 20 years, within the harbour’s ability to pay with annual revenues of £750,000.
  4. Discussion

Investment plan – A scoping document is being worked on to prepare an investment plan. Question – Should the harbour investment plan also include works to banks above the Bailey Bridge? The Harbour and coastal defences are inextricably linked.

Ring fenced funds – A need for complete transparency in the use of harbour funds was agreed

Possibility of sales to, or takeover by, commercial interests – WDC recognised that the Harbour being  controlled by WDC owning the one and only share was unacceptable to users. A possible governance compromise would be WDC 2, STC 2 and Independent 3, giving no group an absolute majority, but ensuring a democratic majority.

AOB Trust – History was excluded from the discussions but it was recognised that WDC needed to build trust. It was recognised however that the harbour is being run better than it was. Full public consultation on the proposal is needed.

  1. Actions In about two months the new proposal will be put to the Joint Harbour Committee and the Southwold Town Council, with the investment and business plan, for public consultation.

Fact 1,
Over the past 15 years, many attempts have been made by
Waveney District Council to take financial control of Southwold
Harbour, Caravan and Camping Sites, including a failed attempt
in 2003 to sell the land.

Fact 2,
This beautiful area has historic and economic significance to local
residents and business owners but most importantly, the land
does not belong to Waveney District Council, it belongs to us, the
residents of the Civil Parish of Southwold, in addition to all users
of the Harbour.

Fact 3,
In 2015, Southwold Town Council and Waveney District Council
agreed to set up a charitable Harbour Trust to run the Harbour,
Caravan and Camping Sites. The trustees were to be drawn from
local government and suitably competent local community
members. The prospective Trustees formulated a sustainable
business plan, designed to protect the Harbour Lands for future

Fact 4,
Waveney District Council and Southwold Town Council have failed
to implement this agreement. They are now proposing an
alternative governance model, namely, to set up two Local
Authority Trading Companies with one share in each company,
shares to be owned by Waveney District Council. This will then
give them the authority to sell the land and in that case, our
valuable asset will be lost forever.