Our Journey So Far

May 2015

Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG announce consultation on closing Southwold Hospital.

November 2015

Southwold Town Councils files an application to Waveney District Council (WDC) to have the hospital listed as an Asset of Community Value. Click here to view it.

February 2016

Southwold Town Council’s application is accepted. The hospital is designated an Asset of Community Value. The NHS appeals the designation.

March 2016

The local community association SAVE OUR SOUTHWOLD is formed to organise a public meeting for the community to discuss the future of the hospital.

April 2016

Publicity campaign for First Public Meeting.

May 2016

First public meeting held in St Edmund’s Hall, Southwold on 9th May. SOS given a unanimous mandate by a packed hall to conduct a feasibility study into acquiring the site for the community. A questionnaire is distributed, asking the community what facilities were needed on the former site.

Southwold Town Council files its submission arguing that the NHS appeal should be denied.

June 2016

250 people respond to the questionnaire – top choices are a library and space for businesses.
Appeal decided in favour of the Town Council. The hospital’s ACV status is upheld.

July 2016

SOS launches the feasibility study with key stakeholders, the Southwold Neighbourhood Plan Team, the local CCG, Waveney District Council, and Suffolk County Council.

August 2016

The first SOS fundraiser took place on South Green, Southwold.
The ‘Flea Market and Hog Roast’ raised over £5000.

SOS meets with WDC Strategic Director and officers from Communities, Housing, Economic Development and Planning to obtain support for the project.

September 2016

Fact-finding with UK business hub contractors, visit to the White Space in Norwich; meeting with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP);

A coffee morning fund raiser was held, raising over £300.

Ralph Carpenter, architect, is commissioned.

SOS meets with the CCG and learns that the NHS will not allow the old hospital to be used for clinical purposes or as a care home.

October 2016

Stakeholder consultations continue.

A Sponsored Bike Ride and walk is held, raising over £800.00

November 2016

SOS commissions Tech East to do a feasibility study for a tech hub in the old hospital.

SOS opens discussions with Hastoe Housing Association.

SOS opens discussions with NHS Properties Services Ltd to acquire the site.

December 2016

The Tech East Feasibility Study is delivered.

SOS applies for a mentoring grant from the Plunkett Foundation, which supports communities buying and running local businesses.

SOS meets with Hastoe CEO and Finance Director in London. Hastoe agrees to partner with SOS to develop the site.

January 2017

Tech East Feasibility Study presented to the NALEP and representatives of the Waveney Economic Team; the responsible is enthusiastic.

SOS wins Plunkett Foundation grant.

ACV moratorium period ends.

February 2017

In preparation for making a bid, SOS registers with the FCA a Community Benefit Society, called the Southwold and Waveney Valley Regeneration Society Ltd (SouthGen).

March 2017

SouthGen and Hastoe sign a Service Level Agreement.

SouthGen meets with the CCG to obtain support for its bid.

Architect produces first set of plans.

SouthGen begin publicity campaign for a second Public Meeting.

April 2017

SouthGen holds pre-app discussion with the Local Planning Authority.

SouthGen wins BRICK grant from The Prince’s Regeneration Trust.

SoutGen makes first opening offer to the NHS to buy the site.

Second Public meeting held to present the results of the feasibility study. Over 300 people attend and unanimously approve resolution supporting SOS in its negotiations to acquire the site.

May 2017

Southwold Town Crier launches information campaign about the shares issue.

SouthGen submits a high level business case in support of its bid to the NHS.

SouthGen holds its first Management Committee meeting.

SouthGen submits a revised best and final bid based on an increase in the number of residential units to 9.

Hastoe agrees to submit a planning application on behalf of SouthGen.

June 2017

Savills (the NHS agent) recommends acceptance of the bid.

Work on planning application commences; planning consultant and transport consultant hired.

Version 5 of the site plans are circulated for neighbour, community and Southwold Town Council consultation.

July 2017

Work on planning application continues.

August 2017

Planning application submitted.

SouthGen, Hastoe and NHS Propco meet to agree Heads of Terms for the contracts of exchange.

Second annual Flea Market and Hog Roast held on South Green. Despite indifferent weather, SouthGen raises more than £4000.

September 2017

Public consultation period begins for the planning application SouthGen presents the plans to Southwold Town Council.

October 2017

SouthGen begins the process of converting to a Charitable Community Benefit Society. Its primary charitable objective is urban and rural generation.

November 2017

Meeting with planning officer, followed by further revisions to the plans.

December 2017

SouthGen finalises terms of the contracts of sale with NHS Propco and Hastoe.

Planning officer files her report, recommending approval of the planning application.