Firstly, the government’s stance on the property market is that we need more houses! In fact the government wants 300,000 new house to be build each year by mid-2020. These plans are apparently “way off track” but in Nuneaton we have certainly seen our town grow, with housing developments in Weddington, The Long shoot and Queen Elizabeth Road.
With the majority of these development taking place on the outskirts of Nuneaton, it got us thinking about the possibility of adding homes to the centre of town.
In recent years the UK has seen a massive return to city centre living, with our neighbouring city of Birmingham showing a massive 163% increase in population, from 9,800 to 25,800 people in the last decade. This is primarily made up of young professional, who live, work and socialise in the city. This has massive implications for the high street, with the residence creating the need for gyms, bars, restaurants and shops.
Being a proud Nuneaton business, we can accept that we perhaps can’t compete with the draw of Birmingham, however, on a smaller scale Nuneaton town centre living could boost our high street.
And it’s not just a benefit for the town centre but also for those that choose to live there! Town/city centre living is more environmentally friendly and cheaper (depending of house prices per square foot). People living in town and city centres are less likely to have the need for a car, use less water and have lower energy bills compared to separate dwellings.
We certainly aren’t the only ones thinking about town centre living as an option to help with housing demand and improve the high street. In 2015, the government introduced the Permitted Development Right, which allow retail and office space to be converted into residential dwellings without the need for planning permission. This could suggest that city centre style living may be coming to Nuneaton in the near future.