I spent last week in Southwold on the Suffolk coast in a delayed holiday from Easter, which was looking touch and go a few weeks ago.
The town has got a lot of second homes and rental holiday properties in amongst residential properties. I would imagine residents who weren't business owners would have appreciated the lockdown to provide a moment of calm. There were some pictures taken during lockdown on the website in fact, and unusual to see the streets so empty of people.
Two weeks ago, Southwold was very busy and business owners needed that to make up for some of the lost trade earlier in the year. It was reportedly very busy over the mild weekend we have just had as well.
Apparently 60% of the homes in the town are second homes and holiday rentals.
Tibby's Triangle was built on the old Adnams Distribution Centre, and it seems that the affordable housing there was bought by people who then put it out to holiday rentals quite quickly. This shouldn't be allowed to happen ideally.
Towards the end of the week, a leaflet was pushed through my letterbox with information about a consultation on the new town plan, with a particular focus on affordable housing, and the sort of rules over purchasing these which would help local people get a place on the housing ladder - although these are interesting times to be purchasing a property.
Last week, Judith Roberts posted about a story in the East Anglian Daily Times.
As the report says:
A report by housing specialist Compare My Move recently revealed the average house price in Southwold is £487,996 – more than double the UK average which is around £235,000. This makes the town the fifth most expensive coastal resort to buy in.
The Neighbourhood Plan - PDF download
One to explore further perhaps for those needing an affordable housing case study...