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Evaluating the requirements for new rural housing

In 2011 NEMS Market Research conducted a housing survey in Hildenborough Parish in Tonbridge & Malling District. The survey was to assess whether households (or anyone within them) were looking to move within the next 3 years, together with residents opinions on local housing needs.

Key benefits:

  • Allowed residents the opportunity to give their opinions on local housing needs and issues.
  • Identified the specific needs of local residents by house type and size.
  • Helped inform the preparation of a local planning application.

Our Assigment

To undertake an Independent Local Housing Needs Assessment of a specific rural area of Hildenborough Parish. The aims were to:

  • Identify needs of local residents by house type and size;
  • Ascertain housing demand;
  • Determine residents opinions on local housing needs;
  • Inform the preparation of a local planning application.

Results

Approximately 20% of householders completed the survey (total of 99 questionnaires returned).

  • Nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) are expecting to move, or have a member of their household expecting to move, within the next 3 years.
  • Of those looking to move; over half (52%) were looking to move outside Tonbridge & Malling District.
  • Over 3 quarters of respondents (77%) believed that housing was needed within Hildenborough Parish.
  • Over a third of all respondents (34%) stated that affordable homes for local people and housing for the young were the most needed.
  • All of those looking to move within Tonbridge and Malling Borough wished to own their new property.

Benefits

  • Local residents believe that new housing is specifically required within Hildenborough.
  • People looking to move within the next 3 years would like to own their new home.
  • Emphasis on any new housing should include affordable homes for local people, especially the young.
  • To encourage current residents to stay within Hildenborough; local employment opportunities need to be increased.

Our Approach

The survey had to be comparable to an earlier one carried out in 2009, therefore the same questionnaire and methodology was to be used.
The survey was completed via self-completion questionnaires. Our sampling area was a specific rural part of Hildenborough Parish. As in the 2009 study; the Royal Mail Postal Address File system was used to obtain the addresses for the mailing. This system showed that the specific survey area comprised of 519 properties.
A single questionnaire was therefore posted to each address, together with a cover letter explaining the background and importance of the survey and a freepost pre-paid envelope addressed to the NEMS Market Research Head Office.
The survey was anonymous, however it was decided that to incentivise residents completing the survey; any respondent who returned a completed questionnaire together with the name and address section completed; would be sent a £10 Marks & Spencer voucher. It was also made clear that respondents could still complete the survey and return it without completing their name and address details.
Respondents were given approximately 3 weeks to complete and return the questionnaire.

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NEMS Market Research Limited. Company registered in England no. 393 8078 Telephone: 01642 373355 Email: advice@nemsmr.co.uk