By Katerina Harrington, Public Sector Relationship Manager
The expanding population of Great Britain brings certain challenges for local authorities. Large cities have become accustomed to rapid growth and increasingly dense living situations, but across the country, other councils are facing pressure to adapt to a rising populace.
Residential property development has plateaued since the 1970s which has led to house prices rising steadily with exceptional spikes in places such as London. Location data can paint a more accurate picture of Britain’s changing landscape by demonstrating trends that differ locally and enabling a greater understanding of how to prepare our infrastructure for a more densely–populated future.
To help local authorities to prepare, the government has set housing targets, to encourage councils to prioritise the development of new and affordable housing.
Guest blog by Huw Davies, Head of Conservation Information, National Trust
In 1965, concerned about the impact of development along the coast of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the National Trust launched ‘Enterprise Neptune’ to help raise money to buy and protect the most ‘pristine’ stretches. There was particular concern about caravan parks, shacks, sprawling industrialisation and the defence relics left over from the war.
In order to understand which areas were most at risk from development, the Neptune committee commissioned John Whittow at the University of Reading to produce a ground-breaking land use survey on a scale not seen since the Dudley Stamp survey of the 1930s. It was a massive undertaking, but during the wet and windy summer of 1965 undergraduate students and staff walked the whole coastline mapping detailed land use classes onto 350 OS 2.5 miles to 1 inch scale maps, along with some lovely value-laden annotations that reflected the feeling of threat at the time.