If you live or work in Hellesdon or parts of Sprowston then you should be the envy of the rest of the country, according to a study by Royal Mail to identify the most desirable places to live and work in England based on postcode.
The findings were released on the last day of February and highlight the NR6 postcode as the second most desirable place to live and work in England, behind CH63, Bebington, Wirral.
The study, which was undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), looked back at the past two years and calculated the most desirable areas based on a range of factors including good schools, access to green spaces, good employment prospects, working hours, affordable housing and average commuting times.
The research was conducted by reviewing a number of data sources at the local level, including the 2011 Census, the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Indices of Multiple Deprivation, General Land Use database and numerous releases from the Office for National Statistics.
The inclusion of NR6 in Norwich leads an increase in the number of areas in the south included in the top ten. In 2015, there were just three postcodes from the south compared to six this year. Good local schools and lower unemployment helped facilitate the change.
Hellesdon Parish Council chairman Shelagh Gurney said: “Whilst it is undoubtedly flattering to be rated so highly in this study, it is a testament to the tireless work of civic, community leaders and groups, and the residents of Hellesdon as a whole that this has been achieved. However, it comes with a price. As soon as a community becomes desirable to live in, for all the right reasons, housing prices escalate and consequently affects the opportunity for first time home buyers to afford to live in Hellesdon.
“Hellesdon has many desirable qualities as mentioned in the report, but we should not become complacent about the need to continuously improve services and the environments for our residents. Schools are very good, with high levels of achievement. Community facilities are good, but I know that residents want better recreational opportunities which other areas already offer, such as sports halls and running tracks.
“Shops are varied and offer good service levels to support our community. There are also many small businesses which offer high stands of service to our residents.
“Employment statistically is very high. Home ownership is at a high level, but Hellesdon does need more social housing to cater for growth. The loss of the green open space of the golf club, although not publicly accessible, will, in my view, have a detrimental effect on our community, and although we will eventually see the build of 1,000 new homes, this will come with consequences which many will perceive as most undesirable, such as more traffic and more stress on our community services.
“As a councillor I am conscious of the need to maintain and enhance the parish in which I work and live, but clearly this is not sustainable without the dedicated support, devotion and efforts of the people who work and live in my community, so in essence this accolade is a delightful recognition of the community spirit which dwells in the heart of our parish of Hellesdon.”
Top ten most desirable places to live in England:
1. CH63 – Bebington, Wirral
2. NR6 – North and North West Norwich
3. BH18 – Broadstone, Bournemouth
4. M33 – Sale, Greater Manchester
5. PO32 – East Cowes, Isle of Wight
6. SO53 – Eastleigh, Hampshire
7. IP5 – Ipswich, Suffolk
8. LS18 – Horsforth, Leeds
9. S18 – Dronfield, North East Derbyshire
10. RG6 – Earley, Reading
GREEN SPACE: Mountfield Park in Hellesdon.
GREEN SPACE: Harrison’s Wood in Sprowston.
Hellesdon Parish Council chairman Shelagh Gurney.