Edwards Estate Agents

Are there too many properties in Stratford-upon-Avon?

November 15th, 2019

Edwards - Are there too many properties in Stratford-upon-Avon

There’s no denying that we’re in a growth stage for housing in the UK. Everywhere you look, more and more houses are being built and the Stratford-upon-Avon district is no different.

We do need the housing according to the housing planners and there’s some really interesting data on the number of people per square mile that might lead us to find out how populated we are here, in comparison to other areas.

The population has grown and according to the Office of National Statistics in the UK. In the 1920s we had 42.9M people in the UK and in 2019 we have 66.4M. That’s a large increase and clearly one that needs housing. In the past nine years since 2010 it’s grown some 8 million.

Is Stratford-upon-Avon over-populated…?

Let’s take a look at the per square mile data and see:

  • UK as a whole – 698 people per square mile.
  • England – 1,103 people per square mile.
  • Greater London – 14,587 people per square mile

Of course, a square mile is a large area. There are only 93,600 square miles in the whole of the UK and that includes the wilderness areas of Scotland!

Let’s look at more realistic areas of land – let’s talk acres.

To those born after the mid 1970’s, an acre is roughly half the size of a football pitch or a square roughly 63 metres by 63 metres. There are fewer than 2.5 acres in a hectare.

Stratford-upon-Avon population – 27,830

Total area – 2,092 acres.

This means that there are 13.3 people living per acre in Stratford-upon-Avon. 13.3 people per half football pitch. That’s not actually that bad, is it?

How does this compare with the neighbours?

Location and Postcode Population Area in Acres Population Density – # People per Acre
Stratford-upon-Avon  27,830 2,092 13.3
Banbury  48,651 2,976 16.35
Royal Leamington Spa 95,172 5,529 17.21
Evesham  23,576 1,416 16.65
Redditch  82,253 5,493 14.97

Pretty good actually!

Greater London, which has density of 23.26 people per acre is nearly double that and you can agree it certainly feels like it if you’ve been down to the smoke recently.

London’s most crowded suburb is Pimlico – 92.32 people per acre.

Pimlico is nothing though when compared to the Collblanc district in Barcelona, where there are 214.8 people living per acre.

School time and rush hour are busy… but it’s still better than the cities

When you’re sitting in traffic it can certainly feel like it’s getting worse in Stratford and you’d be right that it’s increasing in size and of course then in traffic and people, but we’re still very fortunate and a long way behind the rest of the UK and even our close neighbours.

We’re never going to have an even spread of population across the UK. Some areas can copy more with housing, some are more desirable and so on.

We could certainly accommodate a much larger population in the UK (and Stratford-upon-Avon itself). Although that’s not a popular idea and of course there would be trade-offs.

Looking back at the 17th and 18th century, there were certain sectors of society that warned about population growth.

The population of the UK in 1801 was 10.5M – today it’s 66.4M!  But even with the growth of the population since then, only 1.2% of the UK is currently built on for housing purposes. It’s still a very green country in 2019. Just drive a few miles and tell us it’s not.

Stratford-upon-Avon will grow in size

Every town and city need to do their part to deal with the growth in population and that means planners will be looking to build and develop in other areas of our town. Naturally, this means that our local authority has a responsibility to provide us all with adequate infrastructures like roads, hospitals, and schools to match the growth in housing.

The question is not “Will Stratford get bigger?” but more, “How will we manage and benefit when it does?”

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