Caravan owners say they feel "marginalised" and "angry" about how they are being treated after plans were unveiled to revitalise a Suffolk harbour and caravan site.

The Southwold Caravan Owners Association (SCOA) has expressed concerns about East Suffolk Council's proposals for the Southwold harbour and static caravan site, particularly a series of options that could see the current annual licence being scrapped.

Earlier this week, the council announced a public consultation had begun on the Southwold Harbour Vision 2035 and the Static Caravan Site Revitalisation Project, which aims to enhance the quality of life and economic vitality of Southwold and its surrounding communities.

READ MORE: 'Considerable improvement' needed to Southwold Harbour site

As part of the project, there would be investment in both the harbour and the caravan site, with the aim to improve the "degrading" infrastructure and bring in more revenue from the caravan plots which would help support the harbour.

East Anglian Daily Times: A look out from Southwold HarbourA look out from Southwold Harbour (Image: Newsquest)

To achieve this goal, four options are being considered for the site, which include continuing with the current annual licence for plots, changing to a 20-year lease, adopting a mixed leasing and renting model or opting for a "dynamic renting model" focused on short-term rentals.

However, SCOA chair Diane Perry-Yates said some 200 to 300 people feared they were going to be "displaced" by the plans for the roughly 100 caravans on site.

READ MORE: Reopening of Fisherman's Hut will boost Southwold Harbour

She said some of the licence holders had been there for 50 years and there was particular concern that a 20-year lease would be too long for some of the caravan owners due to their age.

Instead, she said a three, five or eight year lease would be "fair and doable" and feared the council was trying to "intersperse" the caravans with holiday lets to drive up revenue from the site.

The caravan owners were "deeply committed to the town and there is a loyalty there", Ms Perry-Yates said.

"Members are getting emotional. They are getting quite angry and they are unhappy about how they are being treated," she added.

However, an East Suffolk Council spokesperson said: "This consultation is seeking views on ideas for the revitalisation of Southwold Harbour and Caravan Site from a range of stakeholders; and will provide the basis for more detailed discussions going forward. 

"Our priority is to deliver a programme of revitalisation which benefits all parties and enhances the character and sustainability of Southwold.

"This means balancing economic viability and environmental sustainability with the social fabric of the town.

"However, no decisions have been made and the broad proposals we are presenting will then be reviewed based on the feedback we receive.

"As part of the consultation, a series of events have been planned, providing opportunities to ask questions, express concerns and propose alternatives.

"We also look forward to receiving a wide range of views to our consultation which can be completed online or via printed copies available in numerous locations.

"We are dedicated to ensuring that every voice is heard and invite SCOA and all stakeholders to engage constructively in the consultation process."

An event for caravan owners will be taking place at Southwold Sailing Club on April 26 at 1.30pm, while there will be drop-in sessions at the club on April 30 at 2pm and at Southwold Town Hall on May 14 at 1.30pm.

An online consultation is also taking place.