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High-speed broadband: second only to a doctor's surgery when it comes to creating community spirit

Living in a community continues to be of great importance to people in the UK. Redrow’s latest research report Creating Britain’s new communities finds 87% of people across villages, towns and cities think living in a community is important. However only 25% currently feel they are living in one, and 9% cannot name their neighbours.

The survey of 2,000 consumers – which Redrow conducted to provide insight on what people want in their communities – also revealed the top 10 most important factors for creating communities which promote social wellbeing. Nearly all people surveyed (98.1%) say high speed broadband is important for well-being in their community. Even more so than more traditional community amenities such as a post office, a village green and local shops such as a butchers or a fishmongers.

This comes shortly after the Government’s Housing White Paper which emphasised the importance of digital infrastructure and its commitment to achieving full fibre connectivity. However, only 81% of people surveyed feel that the Government is currently doing enough to prioritise helping to foster communities as part of its housebuilding plans.

 

Rank

Community Feature

Indicated as being important for creating a community

 

 

National

City/Town

Hamlet/Village

1

Doctor’s surgery

99.5%

99.4%

99.9%

2

High-speed broadband

98.1%

97.9%

98.3%

3

Open space/recreation ground

97.6%

97.7%

97.4%

4

 

Local shops (butcher, fishmonger etc.)

97.2%

97.7%

96.2%

5

Bus route

95.7%

96.6%

93.9%

6

Hospital

95.1%

95.3%

94.7%

7

Park/Village Green

94.7%

94.8%

94.6%

8

Post office

94.2%

94.4%

93.8%

9

Coffee shop/tea room

91.3%

92.6%

88.7%

10

Health visitor/district nurse

90.3%

90.5%

89.9%

 

Rob Macdiarmid, Group Sustainability Director at Redrow, comments on the report:

“Our research shows that people strongly aspire to be part of a community. The reality however is that a good number of people feel a sense of detachment from their neighbours and others in their local area. They also believe that the Government can, and should, be doing more to reconcile communities.

“The Housing White Paper published by the Government in February emphasises the importance of supporting infrastructure to creating communities, but this sentiment can and should go further. Vibrant communities are beneficial to UK PLC as a whole and housebuilders must be gearing their strategies toward helping to create communities; a duty to do this borne out in legislation ought to be considered. The time is right for the housebuilding industry and national and local governments to come together and set out coherent principles for creating better places for people to live. The organisations that build our homes, including all housebuilders, should follow this blueprint.”

Rob Macdiarmid continues: “When we create new communities some of the top features we are currently integrating include good access to key local amenities, the ability to walk to schools, shops and social meeting places, such as pubs. Twenty years ago housebuilders tended to think about green areas last, but now these are the very first and central consideration on an upcoming development. As an industry we are also now thinking about how to encourage community integration. New people need to feel welcome for a community to continue to grow, so we are helping residents at new housing developments in small ways, such as setting up WhatsApp groups for social gatherings, like jogging or trips to the park, and welcome packs which inform people about the facilities available to them in the locality. By being made to feel welcome and facilitating social interaction people can start the process of social attachment.”

Creating Britian's New Communities Report Feb 2017

Creating Britain's New Communities Feb 2017 John Tutte  

Redrow was established in 1974. Today, it is one of the most successful and acclaimed property developers in the UK, building around 5,000 premium quality family homes a year in prime locations across England and Wales. Over Redrow’s history spanning more than 40 years, it has earned a unique reputation for quality and building beautiful homes, which people love to live in. To help achieve this it also focusses on two other key areas: valuing people and creating outstanding locations. Implementing its strategy whilst engaging with colleagues and stakeholders helps Redrow deliver significant value to investors and the wider community. Redrow is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. For the year ended 30th June 2016, the Group reported record revenues of £1.38 billion. Redrow has been awarded the ‘Best Large Housebuilder’ title twice in the last three years at the What House? Awards. This year, Redrow was named as a UK Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer for the fourth consecutive year. Visit redrow.co.uk for more details.