Canterbury has changed enormously over the last 10 years. Between the last two censuses, the population of CT1 increased by 20% from 25,560 to 30,760. Most people moving to the area came from neighbouring districts, but there was a particular influx from Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich in London which accounted for 6% of all new arrivals. The biggest rise came from 20 to 24 years olds which lead to the City becoming younger, and the average age falling from 33 to 31. This is, in no small way, down to the growth of Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent.
In addition to the 4,000 new homes, which I might note is equal to almost exactly a third of all housing currently in CT1, is 70,000 sqm of employment floorspace, two primary schools, extensive areas of woodland and open space, a reserve site for the Kent & Canterbury Hospital, and a community hub to include health services, and local shops. It also includes proposals for a package of measures to promote sustainable travel, including a new junction on the A2 near Bridge, an enlarged Park & Ride with 1,000 spaces, provision for fast bus travel to the City Centre, and cycle connections.
This sort of analysis requires us to look at areas adjacent to the development, not in it, and monitor price changes of continuously existing houses. In the postcode sector adjacent to the Ashford development, property prices increased by 188% in the last 15 years. This is 75% more than the Ashford average so we can reasonably assume the development of Kingsnorth was a major factor. If we apply that level of house price inflation to Canterbury, we can expect prices to rise by over £35,000 per year in the next 15 years. That’s over 8% higher than the average annual salary in Canterbury.
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