The Town and surrounding area
The Town of Leiston, with the adjoining hamlet of Sizewell, is situated on the Suffolk coast roughly halfway between Felixstowe in the south and Lowestoft in the north. The administrative area of Leiston-cum-Sizewell has a population of about 5,500 and, prior to local government reorganisation, had its own Urban District Council carrying out the majority of functions and services for their community.
The area is now administered by Suffolk Coastal District Council, which has offices at Melton Hill, Woodbridge. The various strategic services, e.g. highways, education, fire service, etc., are the responsibility of Suffolk County Council. Leiston is a sector for the Suffolk Constabulary with a Police Station in Kings Road. Anglian Water is responsible for sewage disposal services and Essex and Suffolk Water supplies domestic water. Whilst the town is to some extent in a rural setting it does have good road links with the A12 Trunk Road and there are regular bus and train services to and from the major centres. The local doctors’ operate a modern Health Centre in Main Street.
The town is well served with residential accommodation and some recent, carefully planned, developments have provided attractive dwellings. The Suffolk Heritage Housing Association has two complexes of sheltered accommodation in the town, 37 units at Paxton Chadwick Close and 43 at Charles Adams Close. 21 Housing Association (formerly Royal British Legion Housing Association) has a block of 30 warden-controlled flats at Charles Miller Court off Cross Street. Privately run elderly persons’ residential homes are located at Leiston Old Abbey, 106 High Street, and at Daneway, Haylings Road. There are a number of shops and service outlets, mainly within the centre of the town principally along High Street and Sizewell Road, which provide for the needs of the local and surrounding community. A weekly market operates on Fridays currently in the Crown Inn car park in the centre/east of town. The town is well provided with parking with local authority pay-and-display car parks at High Street and Sizewell Road and “free” car parks at Main Street and Valley Road, the latter being “long-stay”. Private car parking has been provided for shoppers at the rear of the Solar Superstore and for general use off Platers Walk at the rear of new shops in High Street.
Though small in character, Sizewell has always been appreciated by resident and visitor alike. Ample provision has been made for parking of cars on the cliffs at the seafront, and for coaches alongside the refreshment kiosk. The long length of beach is excellent for bathing and enjoyable walks can be experienced southwards under the cliffs to Thorpeness or northwards to Dunwich, taking in the RSPB Reserve at Minsmere. The hamlet boasts a terrace of former Coastguard Cottages, a Coastguard Lookout, initially erected by the Navy to repel smugglers, and has an interesting inn and a refreshment kiosk to satisfy the appetite raised by the vigorous activites.
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