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  • Writer's picturePatrick Stappleton

Is Bexhill Too Densely Populated?

In this week’s article on the Bexhill property market, I compare the population of Bexhill and the density of people living in Bexhill to nearby towns / cities and other hotspots around the country to decide if we are overcrowded.

Has England’s green and pleasant land suddenly become England’s green and overcrowded land?

With the nation’s ever-increasing population and the double whammy that people are now living longer, this means as each year goes by, there is an ever-growing strain on public services and my favourite topic – housing. It’s no wonder some people are saying things are at crisis point when it comes to infrastructure (like roads, schooling etc.) and housing. I hear it all the time, people complaining that Bexhill looks like a building site and, we are packing people in like sardines into our Bexhill homes. Yet I wanted to find out exactly what the truth was.

Starting with the UK as a whole, there 698 people per square mile whilst in England, there are 1,103 people per square and finally in Greater London 14,587 people per square mile … these all sound quite awful numbers, until you drill down and realise a square mile is an awfully big 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 … and I want to look at my favourite – the acre. 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 and there are just less than 2.5 acres in a hectare.

The population of TN40 is 17,422 and the total area of TN40 is 1,701 acres, meaning 10.24 people live per acre in Bexhill’s TN40, So, how does that compare to neighbouring areas…

So, is Bexhill overpopulated? Yes, it seems that way at school time or rush hour when sitting in traffic that Bexhill is overpopulated – yet the stats show – we aren’t.

Evidently, we are never going to have an even spread of population as can be seen from the figures in the table, and the remote nature of some parts of the Country would not be able to withstand high densities of new people without enormous infrastructure investment.

Yet could we accommodate a much larger population in the UK (and Bexhill) although there would be trade-offs? Look back at the 17th and 18th century and certain sectors of society were warning about population growth. The population of the UK in 1801 was 10.5 million and even with the growth of the population since then, only 1.2% of the UK is currently built on for housing purposes.

The question, it seems to me, is not can we manage but how would a larger Bexhill population change our way of life, both for better and possibly worse?

The planners have a responsibility to ensure Bexhill provides its fair share of new homes to accommodate this population growth in the coming years. The local authority has a responsibility towards adequate provision of the infrastructure of roads, hospitals and schools etc., to match the growth in housing. This is not a political topic and I hope once the ‘B’ word is finally sorted we can get on with addressing the shortage of affordable new homes for future generations.

Well I do hope you enjoy reading my blogs and they are a use to how you play the Bexhill property market. If you fancy a chat on any of the topics written just call me or pop into my office in Western Road Bexhill for a chat. Best wishes, Patrick Stappleton. Author of the Bexhill property blog.

Other Information The Statistics are taken from the recent Census on our patch. The statistics for Bexhill the ONS Built Up Area definition of Bexhill, which can slightly differ by as much as 5% to other ONS population statistics.

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