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					South Northamptonshire – State of
    District’s Economy 2009
     South Northamptonshire - State of the District’s
                                Economy 2009

The State of the District report provides a snapshot of the economic profile of South
Northamptonshire in 2009. It is intended both as a stand alone reference document
and a data appendix to South Northamptonshire’s Economic Development Strategy
2010 – 2012.

The report covers the main aspects of life in the district, providing an opportunity to
measure its performance and identify the key issues arising from the current
economic climate. Under some data sets, a short commentary is provided to illustrate
what this data means to the district.

The report and the strategy build on the 2007 ‘Driving Forward’ Economic
Development Strategy for the District. Some data, due to the frequency of its
collection, will paint the same picture as in 2007. However new data from more
frequently collected sources demonstrate a different picture for the district which
reflects the current challenges we face. The strategy has a shelf life of 2 years as a
reflection of emerging planning legislation which will take economic development
forward after this time and the ever changing economic climate.

For any further information, please contact the Strategic Policy Division through the
contact details below

Claire Bambury – Lead Officer Economic Development and Tourism

Strategic Policy

South Northamptonshire Council

Springfield, Towcester

NN12 6AE

Tel: 01327 322264


The State of the District report is split into data sources covering all aspects of life in
South Northamptonshire. These are;

       people and workforce

       business and jobs

       tourism

       town centres

       rural sustainability

       housing

       transport

This report identifies a range of economic trends and issues that the Economic
Development Strategy attempts to respond to, by setting out aims and the challenges
for the short and longer term.

This economic analysis identifies key statistics for economic development factors
such as retail spend, footfall and catchment; employment patterns; out commuting,
all of which establish clear benchmarks for assessing priorities for the Strategy.

The analysis also covers complementary data around housing and transport which
are addressed in the Transport and Climate Change Strategies and Interim Rural
Housing Policy.

These statistics are useful in providing the whole picture of the challenges facing
people living and working in the district and the Economic Development Strategy
links with these strategies as part of a wider ambition to achieve more sustainable

1. People and Workforce

   Population - Page 5

   Residential Age Profile – Page 6

   Deprivation – Page 7

   Qualifications – Page 8

   Wages – Page 9

   Unemployment & Employment - Pages 10-12

2. Business and Jobs

   Major employers and business profile - Pages 13-16

   B use employment – Page 17

   Employment space – Pages 18-19

   Rent and land values – Page 20

   Business Support – Page 20

3. Tourism

   Income - Page 21

   Tourism Employment – Page 22

   Tourist Days – Page 23

4. Town Centres

   Brackley – Commercial Mix and Retail Floor space – Pages 24-25

   Towcester - Commercial Mix and Retail Floor space – Page 26-27

5. Rural Sustainability – Pages 28-29

6. Housing – Page 30-21

7. Transport – Page 32-24

                           1. PEOPLE AND WORKFORCE


Population Growth by area 2001 to 2008

Area                         2001                2008             % Change

Northamptonshire             629,676             885,000          8.8

South                        79,293              91,000           14.8

Northampton                  194,458             205,200          5.5

Daventry                     71,836              79,700           10.9

Source: ONS Mid 2008 Population Statistics

                                   Population - Summary

The population of the District totalled some 79,293 at the time of the 2001 Census.
Between then and 2008 it grew by 14.8% to bring it to 91,000. This was the largest
percentage growth in the County and is higher than the regional average. The district
covers over 63,000 hectares and is mainly rural in character with two market towns,
Brackley with a population of around 14,000 and Towcester of around 10,000. The
estimated population by 2012 is expected to be 93,100 based on current growth.
However this does not take into account of Milton Keynes South Midlands housing
growth within urban extensions of Brackley and Towcester in addition to rural
housing sites identified within the Interim Rural Housing Policy. This growth is
expected to generate around 6,600 additional houses between 2001-2021 at a rate
of 330 per year. The district is current below this target growth.

Residential Age Profile

                            Population by Age 2001 - 2008
                2001         2008 Mid Yr          2001             2008 Mid Yr
Age              No.              No.               %                  %
0-4             4758             5100              6.01                5.8
5-9             5345             5800              6.75                6.4
10-14           5719             5900              7.22                6.5
15-19           4557             5600              5.75                6.2
20-24           3229             4300              4.08                4.7
25-29           3927             4300              4.96                4.7
30-34           5832             5300              7.36                5.8
35-39           6900             7400              8.71                8.1
40-44           6632             8300              8.37                9.1
45-49           5828             7400              7.36                8.1
50-54           6601             6200              8.33                6.8
55-59           5248             5900              6.62                6.5
60-64           3773             6200              4.76                6.8
65-69           3183             4100              4.02                4.5
70-74           2724             3100              3.44                3.4
75-79           2182             2600              2.75                2.9
80-84           1482             1800              1.87                 2
85-89           860              1100              1.09                1.2
90+             453              500               0.57                0.6
Totals         79233            91,000           100.01              100.01
Source: 2001 Census, ONS 2008 Mid-year Estimates.

                               Age Structure - Summary

The age structure reflects that of the East Midlands and England. The South
Northamptonshire population shows slightly higher proportion of the population in the
10 to 14 age group, less in the 18 to 29 groups, higher in the 30 to 59 groups and a
smaller proportion in the ages above 60. The developments planned for the District
will probably alter the population profile, possibly introducing a younger element
comprising young parents and children. However, most of the age groups have
grown in number but the younger ages have fewer individuals in them than the older
35 to 64 groups indicating a possibly declining and aging population for the future.
This is more marked in 2008 which may be a reflection of incomers over the previous
years, which is older with fewer children. The older incomers being individuals with
more wealth and therefore able to exercise choice in lifestyle and house price. The
general level of house prices in the District (pre-2008) possibly precludes younger
families buying houses in the District especially with the building of affordable
housing in South Northamptonshire at low levels. In percentage terms the 25 to 34
and 50 to 54 year olds . All the older groups above 60 showed increasing percentage

The Department of Communities and Local Government has defined a range of
deprivation indicators and assembled these into one compound measure known as
the Index of Multiple Deprivation. These, domains as they are called, are weighted as
      Income Deprivation – 22.5%
      Employment Deprivation– 22.5%
      Health Deprivation and Disability – 13.5%
      Education. Skills and Training Deprivation – 13.5%
      Barriers to Housing and Services – 9.3%
      Crime – 9.3%
      Living Environment Deprivation – 9.3%

                              Deprivation - Summary

Generally South Northamptonshire shows a very low degree of deprivation. On the
average score index the District ranked 351 out of 354 local authorities and is one of
the least deprived in the country, coming only behind Hart, Wokingham and Surrey
Heath. The extent of deprivation within the District is similarly very low with South
Northamptonshire being on a par with other areas of lowest deprivation.


Qualifications January 2007 to December 2007

% of working      NVQ    NVQ    Trade            NVQ    NVQ    Other           No qualification
population        4      3      Apprenticeship   2      1      qualification

South Northants   38.2   14     7.7              15     9.1    4.8             11.2

Northants         26.7   14.2   4.3              17.7   15     7.5             14.7

Northampton       27     11.1   2.4              16.8   16.4   6.6             19.8

Daventry          27.2   21.4   4.5              18.2   11.9   5.2             11.6

East Midlands     25.5   16     5                16     15.6   8.4             13.5

Source: ONS Annual Population Survey 2007

                                Qualifications - Summary

South Northamptonshire has substantially higher proportions in the top level of
education, trade apprenticeships and lower levels of those with no or other
qualifications. However, there is also no provision for higher education in the district
with residents needing to access education from surrounding facilities such as the
University of Northampton and further facilities outside the county. There is a need to
review this provision, especially in conjunction with future population growth to
ensure these levels are maintained. The Economic Development Strategy will
support the Silverstone Multiversity and other programmes to increase Higher and
Further Education in the District


Earnings by Residence

Gross Weekly Pay £            South Northants       East Midlands           Great Britain

  Full time workers                 542.8                449.6                 479.3

       Male full time               608.5                494.4                 525.0

   Female full time                 422.0                380.4                 412.7

Source ONS annual survey of hours and earnings – residents 2008

Earnings in workplace

Gross Weekly Pay £            South Northants       East Midlands           Great Britain

  Full time workers                 518.2                442.8                 479.1

       Male full time               623.5                488.7                 523.5

   Female full time                    #                 374.9                 412.4

Source: ONS annual survey of hours and earnings – workplace analysis 2008

                                        Wages - Summary

Wages for the resident workforce are well above regional and national levels,
especially male wages. These are the highest in the County, the lowest is
Wellingborough at £395.70. Overall workplace earnings of all full time workers in
South Northamptonshire are lower than the earnings by residents indicating that out-
commuters as a whole are lifting the income in the District. Unfortunately data on
female incomes is inadequate for analysis in this area but given that male incomes
are relatively high, pulling up the overall level, it can be assumed that generally
female incomes are relatively low with few high level female earners. The high male
workplace incomes may arise from, not only the higher levels in the higher socio
economic groupings, but also the high technology and Motorsport sectors, and
possibly home working. As male incomes are higher than regional or national levels
this may generate some commuting into the District.

# sample size too small for reliable estimate

Area   units

Economically Active – Unemployed
Date       South       South                    Northamptonshire       East
           Northants Northamptonshire           (%)                    Midlands
                       (%)                                             (%)
Jan 07 –   1400        2.6                      3.8                    5
Dec 07
Apr 07 –   1400        2.6                      3.9                    5.2
Mar 08
Jul 07 –   1400        2.8                      4                      5.4
Jun 08
Oct 07 –   1500        2.9                      4.7                    5.4
Sep 08
Source: ONS Annual Population Survey

People claiming Job Seekers Allowance
Date          South       South                     Northamptonshire     East
              Northants   Northamptonshire          (%)                  Midlands (%)
Dec 2008      700         1.2                       2.8                  2.9
Jan 2009      891         1.6                       3.3                  3.3
Feb 2009      1,142       2                         3.9                  3.8
Mar 2009      1,215       2.2                       4.2                  4
Apr 2009      1,290       2.3                       4.3                  4.1
May 2009      1,342       2.4                       4.4                  4.1
Source: ONS Claimant Count

Number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in April 2008 and April 2009
and the change in numbers and the % change

Area                  April       April     Increase in   % Change %
                                  2009      Numbers                Unemployed
Northamptonshire      8053        18510     10457         129.85   4.3
South                 369         1290      921           249.59   2.3
Northampton           3157        6721      3564          112.89        5.1
Daventry              622         1533      911           146.46        3.1
Source: Department for Work and Pensions

                               Unemployment - Summary

The increase in unemployment and people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is
a significant change. Although still low on average, South Northamptonshire has
seen a nearly 250% increase in the take up of JSA, roughly double that of the rest of
the County. JSA figures are collated more frequently at a local level than
unemployment figures and therefore, based on the JSA figures, an high increase in
unemployment figures is expected on release of up to date data. SNC has been
working with Business Link and Job Centre Plus to increase initiatives to support
residents back into work through training, employment and starting up a business.

Employment by profession

Employment by sector

                                            South        East
% in employment who are:                                                  England
                                            Northants    Midlands

1: managers and senior officials                  17.8        15.2           15.9

2: professional occupations                       13.6        11.2           13.1

3: associate prof & tech occupations              14.5        12.1           14.6

SOC 1-3                                           45.9        38.5           43.6

4: administrative and secretarial                 10.0        10.7

5: skilled trades occupations                     15.0        12.2           10.7

6: personal service occupations                   7.9         8.4            8.0

SOC 4-6                                           32.9        31.3           30.2

7: sales and customer service                     7.0         7.8

8: process, plant and machine                     3.8         8.8

9: elementary occupations                         10.3        13.4           11.5

SOC 7-9                                           21.1        30.0           26.0

Source: ONS Annual Population Survey 2007

                       Employment by profession - Summary

South Northamptonshire residents are well represented in groups 1 to 3 having a
markedly higher proportion than the regional and national average. In the next range
it again has a higher representation particularly when compared nationally. In groups
7 to 9, the less skilled occupations, the District has a much lower representation than
England and particularly the East Midlands. Part of the employment structure may
arise from businesses in the District and high wage out-commuters moving in from
other areas, both attracted by the quality of life in the District. Levels of out
commuting are demonstrated in the transport data and in order to prevent further
growth in out commuting it is important to ensure future employment land allocation
meets the employment profile of the District

Employment by sector
                      South                   Northamptonshire East Midlands
Manufacturing         12.8                    15.4             15.2
Construction          6.6                     4.5              5.6
Tourism               12.4                    6.6              7.5
Distribution,         19                      24.1             23.1
Transport &           10.8                    8.9              5.6
Banking,              21.5                    21.3             17.8
Finance &
Public Admin,         18.2                    21.2             26.2
education, health
Other                 8.9                     4.2              4.4
Source: ONS annual business inquiry employee analysis 2007

                            Employment by Sector - Summary

While South Northamptonshire has strengths in a number of sectors none of the top
four really stand out when compared with the county and regional levels except
banking finance and insurance which is higher that the regional proportion. The
Transport and Communications sector is higher than county and regional levels and
this is probably due to the logistics developments at Grange Park close to the M1.
Over a 10 year time frame, the District has seen changes within employment which
are in line with national averages, for example a reduction in manufacturing from
27.6% in 1997. The exception is Tourism sector jobs which has seen an increase
from 9.2% in 1997 to 12.4% in 2007 which is higher than the regional average.

                                2. BUSINESS AND JOBS

Major Employers and Business Profile
Despite a sharp rise in unemployment, South Northamptonshire still has
comparatively high employment rates. There are a number of major employers in the
district, although many people work outside the district.

           Silverstone Circuit is at the centre of an internationally recognised group of
            high-technology motor-sport industries around the district, which includes
            household names like Brawn and Force India
           There are also several technology companies, like Radstone Technology,
            Variohm, and Arcotronics, with an international reputation for research and
           Other large businesses in the district include Direct Legal and Collection,
            De Boers, Bronnley and Faccenda

Number of local units in VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises by broad industry
group in South Northamptonshire

Type                                               Number of Units
Agriculture                                        510
Production                                         340
Construction                                       580
Motor Trade                                        170
Wholesale                                          205
Retail                                             270
Hotels & Catering                                  200
Transport                                          160
Post & Telecom                                     45
Finance                                            55
Property & Business Service                        1595
Education                                          140
Health                                             165
Public admin & other services                      455
Source: Office for National Statistics May 2008

Percentage breakdown of local units in VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises by
broad industry group

Type                           South                         Northamptonshire
Agriculture                    10.4                          5.2
Production                     7                             7.7
Construction                   11.9                          11.3
Motor Trade                    3.5                           3.8
Wholesale                      4.2                           5.5
Retail                         5.5                           9.2
Hotels & Catering              4.1                           5.5
Transport                      3.3                           3.6
Post & Telecom                 0.09                          1.4
Finance                        0.11                          1.6
Property & Business            32.6                          28.4
Education                      0.29                          2.8
Health                         3.4                           4.8
Public admin & other           9.3                           9.2
Based on data from Office for National Statistics May 2008

                                 Business Type - Summary

Agriculture still features highly in the overall percentage of enterprises although not in
terms of an employment sector (where the 2007 Annual Business Enquiry failed to
establish an adequate sample size as a percentage share of employment). This
indicates, as would be expected, that these enterprises employ very few staff.
Further job creation could be generated from diversification within this sector. Other
sectors with high level of enterprises include construction, property & business
services and public administration – all services which have or are likely to be
affected by the current economic climate.

Number of VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises by turnover size band (£

Area                    0-49      50-99 100-             250-     500-     1000-
                                        249               499      999      4999     5000+     Total
Northamptonshire         4570      6510 6845             3060     1945      1825       585    25340
                           900     1225        1240       530     305       245          60    4505
  Northampton              980     1575        1675       800     545       495         195    6265
    Daventry               865     1015        1050       450     280       275          70    4005
Source: Office for National Statistics 2008

Number of VAT and/or PAYE enterprises by age of business

                                                                                10 or
                          Less than                                             more
      Area                  2 years           2-3 Years    4-9 Years           years           Total
Northamptonshire               4655                3795         6720           10170          25340
                                   805              675           1195          1830           4505
  Northampton                    1270               955           1680          2360           6265
    Daventry                      655               570           1065          1715           4005
Source: Office for National Statistics 2008

Percentage breakdown of VAT and/or PAYE enterprises by age of business

                             Less than 2                                                 10 or more
       Area                        years              2-3 Years          4-9 Years            years
 Northamptonshire                  18.37                     15              25.52             40.13
                                     17.87                14.99             26.53             40.62
   Northampton                       20.27                15.24             26.82             37.67
     Daventry                        16.35                14.23             26.59             42.82
Based on data from Office for National Statistics

Business registrations and deregistrations

Area                 Registrations     Deregistrations     Stock at     Net
                                                           End of       Change

South                500               280                 4370         220

Northamptonshire     2575              1710                24,185       865

Northampton          700               455                 5970         245

Daventry             335               255                 3860         80

Source: ONS 2007

                   Age of Business and Registration - Summary

The statistics show us that the majority of businesses have been established for 10
years or more. Overall the breakdown on the age of business is approximately in line
with the County average. With the increase in business start ups, the number of
enterprises less than 2 years old should show an increase in future data collection.
There has been a net increase in business start ups and Business Link have
introduced additional outreach and training in the district.

B Use Employment Change 2001-07 by District / Borough

South                     2001    2002     2003      2004    2005    2006    2007    Change
Northamptonshire                                                                     01/7

Industrial                5504    4885     5405      5573    4927    4674    4570    - 934

Warehousing               2294    2009     2318      2883    3126    2947    3881    1587

Offices                   2976    3390     4283      4403    4412    4971    5734    2758

B Space Jobs              10774   10284    12005     12859   12466   12592   14186   3411

Non B Space Jobs          12630   11628    12639     12103   13534   12251   13065   436

All Jobs                  23404   21912    24644     24962   26000   24843   27251   3847

Source: SELA Draft 2009

Change in B space jobs

South Northamptonshire             2001           2007        Change

B Space Jobs                       46.03          52.05       3411

Non B Space Jobs                   53.97          47.94       436

                                  B Space jobs - Summary

The figures show an overall turnaround and in 2007 B space jobs became more
dominant. We can also see a significant reduction in jobs in industrial sectors and an
increase in office and, too a lesser extent, warehouse based employment

Employment Space
South Northamptonshire has recently submitted potential sites for future employment
use to the Strategic Employment Land Assessment (SELA). SELA provides an
estimate of the employment land requirement in Northamptonshire up to 2026
(primarily B use). In terms of B class employment the County as a whole is achieving
growth rates above Milton Keynes South Midlands (MKSM) targets however decline
in industrial B class use has been substantial.

      SELA Jobs and Floor space Projections West Northamptonshire 2001 to
                          West Northamptonshire        South Northamptonshire
                          Jobs       Floor space M     Jobs           Floor space M2
     Industry             - 2,930    - 102,550         - 440          - 15,383
     Warehousing          13,439     855,888           1,773          156,045
     Office               21,813     459,468           2,620          87,922
     Total (SELA net)     32,322     1,212,806         3,954          228,585
     Total                35,252     1,315,356         4,393          243,967
      Source: SELA

Around 57-61 hectares of land will be required based on these jobs figures. South
Northamptonshire Council put forward possibilities up to 494 hectares and therefore
it appears there is sufficient quantity of site. This breaks down to 163 hectares of
sites which link to emerging master plans and JPU draft emergent Core Strategy.
SELA is in a draft stage at the time this report was produced and therefore it is
important to note the sites shown on the map overleaf are suggested potential sites
and some may not be included into the final SELA report

Rent and Land Values for Northamptonshire in July 2005
Area                         Office £ per sq ft    Industrial £ per sq    Industrial land £
                                                   ft                     per acre

South                        12                    4.50                   225,000

Northampton                  16                    6                      400,000

Source: The Occupier & Investment Markets in Northamptonshire Report 2005, Lambert Smith

                     Rent and Land Values for Northamptonshire

The figures show relatively low values for office and industrial accommodation
compared with Northamptonshire and South Northamptonshire has the lowest price
land in West Northamptonshire. The data source is based on prices in 2005 and
should be treated more as a comparative than a reflection of current prices.

Business Support
Business support is delivered under the Business Link branding which is in
Northamptonshire is undertaken by two agencies, East Midland Business support
existing businesses who have been trading for over 12 months. The University of
Northampton support people wanting to start a business up to 12 months of trading.
In 2008/9 the following business support was delivered in the district:

Businesses 12 months +

266 -Business Link Adviser visit / Adviser work with client over the phone / Provision
of information to a client electronically

49 – Businesses receiving more than 2 hours time with an Adviser resulting in a
review, an action plan and collection of GVA information

New Business Start ups
64 clients - met with Business Link Advisor
67 clients in the South Northants area have attended training courses such as Riding
your Way out of Recession
5 clients have started businesses/become self employed with Business Link support
since April 2009

                                        3. TOURISM
 South Northamptonshire has one of the strongest tourism offers in the County with
 around 12.4% of its workforce employed in tourism related industries compared to a
 County average of 6.6%. The district benefits from its attractive market towns, quiet
 historic villages and beautiful countryside. It links both with the Countywide offer
 promoted through Explore Northamptonshire and its close proximity to Cotswolds

 Tourism income by use (£million)

                     South     Northampton Daventry Kettering East
                     Northants                                Northants

 Accommodation 12.43              24.09            19.89      5.28    3.65

 Food and Drink      21.27        42.10            18.48      17.49   13.11

 Recreation          8.76         16.43            6.97       6.87    5.13

 Shopping            26.13        55.92            24.02      24.26   17.66

 Transport           12.23        22.69            9.66       9.49    7.14

 Indirect            30.90        62.89            29.40      24.79   18.24

 Vat                 14.14        28.22            13.83      11.09   8.17

 TOTAL               125.87       252.34           122.26     99.28   73.09


 Visitor Accommodation

                South     Northampton Daventry Kettering East
                Northants                                Northamptonshire
 Establishments 88        34          75       36        52

 Bed spaces         1747         2688              3141       922     838

 Source – Northamptonshire Investment Opportunities Assessment 2007

Revenue by category of visitor (£millions)

                         2007                2006        % change

 Serviced                23.14               23.31       -1

 Non Serviced            37.32               35.30       6

 Staying with relative   12.25               11.70       5

 Day Visitors            53.16               51.09       4

 Total                   125                 121.4       4


 Sector in which Tourism employment supported

                         2007                2006        % Change

 Accommodation           294                 367         -20

 Food and Drink          443                 419         6

 Recreation              221                 209         6

 Shopping                496                 468         6

 Transport               114                 107         6

 Total Direct            1568                1571        0

 Indirect                424                 403         5


Tourist days (thousands)
                            2007                 206                   % change

 Serviced                   252                  251                   0

 Non Serviced               983                  931                   6

 Staying with relative      335                  320                   5

 Day Visitors               1918                 1843                  4

 Total                      3,488                3,345                 4

                                   Tourism - Summary

 Tourism related expenditure brought £125 million (includes VAT) and nearly 3.5
 million visitor days into the district in 2007, which is the highest in the County after
 Northampton. A large proportion of this was through food, drink and shopping.
 Serviced accommodation is the District’s weakness which otherwise enjoys
 growing expenditure and employment from the sector. South Northamptonshire
 has only 3 large hotels offering 50+ rooms, the majority of its serviced
 accommodation are 10 or less rooms. This contrasts with Northampton with 10
 major hotels and Daventry with 9. This data was collated as part of the
 Northamptonshire Investment Opportunities Assessment 2007. This assessment
 focused on the lack of sense of place suffered by the County and on the need for
 further promotion. The study highlighted the importance of the M1 corridor for
 business tourism and on the need to increase sports tourism. Tourism is a sector
 with growing potential for the District.

                                     3. TOWN CENTRES

Expenditure by town centre

Town                    Resident Spend (£m         Resident Spend      Resident Spend
                        p.a)                       retained (£m p.a)   leaked (£m p.a)

Towcester               £50.5m                     £27.9               £22.6

Brackley                £42.2                      £23.7               £18.5

Source: West Northamptonshire Retail Study 2009

Commercial unit mix – Brackley

Type                            Number of Units                Percentage of units

Catering                        28                             27%

Charity                         3                              3%

Retail                          18                             17%

Non Retail                      45                             43%

Vacant                          10                             10%

Source: West Northamptonshire Retail Study 2009

Retail Floor space and Unit Breakdown - Brackley

Comparison Retail Category        Number of Units           Floor space (net sq m)

Clothing and Accessories          3                         89

Health and Beauty                 1                         125

Leisure Goods                     7                         358

Housing Goods                     1                         30

Electrical Goods                  1                         23

Furniture and Carpets             2                         2715

Non Core                          3                         123

TOTAL                             18                        3461

Source: West Northamptonshire Retail Study 2009


In West Northamptonshire Retail Study 2009, in an investigation of future trading
scenarios, the study concluded that the changes to the other town centres and the
external development pipeline will impact on Brackley, whose market share will
reduce by –0.9%,from 8.6% to 7.6%, proportionally corresponding to an impact of
10%. This is considered a sustainable impact, but one which Brackley could mitigate
against by acting to make improvements to the centre and if successful would still
has capacity for a further 1,039 sq m floor space. The study did not take into account
future housing growth in Brackley which could add to use of the town centre with
good links and a Master plan to establish a design framework and identify
development opportunities is now in progress. 83% of retail units in Brackley are
operated by independents. The proportion of non-retail use is high, as is catering,
reflecting Brackley’s role as a service centre for local residents. The 10% vacancy
rate is slightly higher than similar sized centres, which would potentially indicate a
lower level of demand for units in the town and the lack of suitably sized units.


Commercial unit mix – Towcester

Type                            Number of Units       Percentage of units

Catering                        22                    24%

Charity                         2                     2%

Retail                          27                    30%

Non Retail                      35                    38%

Vacant                          5                     5%

Source: West Northamptonshire Retail Study 2009

Retail Floor space and Unit Breakdown Towcester

Comparison Retail Category          Number of Units    Floor space (net sq m)

Clothing and Accessories            5                  225

Health and Beauty                   2                  166

Leisure Goods                       5                  218

Housing Goods                       2                  97

Electrical Goods                    1                  35

Furniture and Carpets               5                  503

Non Core                            7                  503

TOTAL                               27                 1694

Source: West Northamptonshire Retail Study 2009


In the West Northamptonshire Study, Towcester could to improve its town centre
status from a ‘Small Local Centre’ to a ‘Better Local Centre’. There is capacity for an
additional 6,500 sq m net of comparison goods, and also capacity for one new
medium-sized format supermarket. Towcester currently attracts a market potential of
£4.0 million per annum from a catchment worth £128.1 million, equating to a market
share of 3.1% of the total catchment 96% of Towcester’s retail units are occupied by
independents, reflecting the lower level of interest from multiples for the current
market size of Towcester and there is a higher proportion of non-retail use in the
town than retail use, reflecting Towcester’s role as a service centre for local
residents. In order to improve its status, the study benchmarked the town against
similar towns and drew on the offer of coffee shops and restaurants to enhance the
town’s leisure offer. The study concluded Towcester could be expected to gain nearly
400% of market share and have capacity for 6,555 sq m additional floor space as
long as long as the quality of the centre is improved

                           5. RURAL SUSTAINABILITY

There are a number of factors which ensure rural areas are sustainable. For larger
villages, the following level of services might include:

     a primary school within the settlement and a secondary school within the
      settlement or easily accessible by public
     transport;
     primary health care facilities;
     a range of retail and service provision capable of meeting day-to-day needs,
      particularly for convenience shopping;
     local employment opportunities; and
     frequent public transport to higher order settlements

The recent South Northamptonshire Council Interim Rural Housing Policy 2009
examined the services available in each village.

Rural Business Premises

Location                 Name

Ashton                   Ashton Lodge Farm

Blisworth                Blisworth Hill Farm, JBJ Business Park, Prospect Court

Castle Ashby             The Farmyard, The Woodyard

Chacombe                 Grange Park

Chipping Warden          Beeches Business Centre

Cogenhoe                 Roe Farm

Cosgrove                 The Old Brewery

Cosgrove                 The Stocks

Croughton                Park End Works

Deanshanger              Hayes Road

Farthinghoe              Greenacres Farm, Glebe Farm

Greatworth               Greatworth Farm

Greens Norton            Kingsthorn Park, Selby Barns

Hartwell                     Chapel Farm, Cross’s Yard

Hinton-in-the-Hedges         Charlton House Farm

Litchborough                 Barnstone Business Park, Litchborough Industrial Estate

Middleton Cheney             Burgess Farm, Waters Lane

Milton Malsor                Milton Trading Estate

Paulerspury                  Pury Hill Business Park

Potterspury                  Wakefield Country Courtyard

Roade                        Plainswood Business Park

Silverstone                  Shacks Barn Farm, New Rookery Farm, West End Farm,
                             Innovation Centre & Circuit

Stoke Bruene                 Home Farm

Slapton                      Slapton Hill Farm

Warkworth                    Home Farm, Manor Farm, Warkworth Farm

Whittlebury                  Home Farm

Wood Burcote                 Burcote Wood Farm Business Park

Yardley Gobion               Mount Pleasant Farm

Source: Rural Business Audit 2005

                             Rural Sustainability – Summary

 There is a general lack of up to date data to ascertain specific issues relating to
 rural sustainability. In particular further work needs to be undertaken to investigate
 vacancy rates of rural commercial premises and current performance of local
 services. Links also need to be made to the Transport Strategy around rural
 transportation affecting access to services, employment and education

                         6.   HOUSING

The Sub Regional Strategy for Milton Keynes South Midlands Growth Area sets out a
minimum annual requirement of 330 dwellings to be completed between 2001 and
2021. The requirement for housing in South Northamptonshire District (as part of the
Growth Area) is therefore significant. There is a requirement within Planning Policy
Statement 3 (PPS3) to ensure a 5 year supply of housing within the District. The
2008 to 2009 South Northamptonshire Council Housing Land Availability Study
2007/2008 shows a 2.75 years supply of housing land. The study identifies those
sites which are available, achievable and suitable for housing within the next 5 years
(2009 – 2014). The total West Northamptonshire provision for 2001 to 2026 is given
as 62,125 dwellings, but higher numbers are possible if tested through the local
development framework process and are shown to be sustainable. Affordable
housing target for the East Midlands from 2006 to 2026 is given as 17,900. These
figures do not include any dwellings which may be developed on the edges of
Northampton which are intended to meet Northampton’s housing requirements.
Average house prices in South Northamptonshire rose by 67% between 2001 and
2006, from £139,700 to £212, 400. At the end of 2008 the average was estimated to
have dropped to £176,410. Semi-detached houses increased by the greatest
percentage, at 81%. Generally house prices are higher in South Northamptonshire
than in the East Midlands and Northamptonshire. This applies to most house types,
detached, semi-detached and terraced, but not flats or maisonettes. Average income
in the District in 2006 was £38,711 meaning an income multiplier of 3.5 would raise
£135,489 capital through a mortgage. To buy a house of average price would require
a multiplier of 4.6. The ratio between the lower quartile income (£24,683) and lower
quartile market house price (£170,136), the Government’s standard criterion of
affordability, in South Northamptonshire is 6.9; Indicating house purchase is
extremely difficult for households in the lower paid. Difficulties would also be
experienced by those on average household incomes attempting to buy average
priced houses. The average price is very close to 3 times the upper ceiling income,
£60,000, for affordable housing.

Between 2002/3 and 2006/7 an average of some 113 affordable houses were
provided per year by all means. At present the viability studies indicate that generally
an affordable housing provision of 40% all housing is possible. Applied to the
allocation in the Regional Plan this would give a target of 132 affordable dwellings
per year. However, taking into account the variability of viability on a site by site basis
it is unlikely that this target will be achieved.

Housing production in the District has slowed with the recession and the land supply
allocated in the local plan has dried up. Land identified for 3,000 houses to the south
of Towcester awaits planning permission. A development of a further 1,250 dwellings
is contemplated for the north of Brackley. Permission on either would fulfil, or
substantially contribute to, the government’s requirement for all local authorities to
have a 5 year land supply for housing development. Further sites may be identified in
the forthcoming local development framework.

Average House Prices £ 2006

Property Type             South                        Northampton         Daventry

Detached                  318,202                      242,039             312,650

Semi Detached             205,322                      153,525             170,465

Terraced                  187,382                      135,401             150,896

Flat/Maisonette           147,095                      113,334             113,721

Source: Land Registry Residential Property Price Report 2006

Average House Prices £ 2009

Property Type            South                    Northampton            Daventry

Detached                 294,605                  198,978                271,588

Semi Detached            164,631                  135,661                161,544

Terraced                 155,399                  125,806                133,131

Flat/Maisonette          143,647                  100,120                155,045

Source: Land Registry Residential Property Price Report April-June2009

                                  Housing – Commentary

In line with national trends, house prices have dropped significantly with the average
house price in the District at £218,155. Based on these average prices, the annual
reduction in 2009 was 15% compared with 10% in Daventry and 12% in
Northampton. The biggest reductions have been in flats and terraced properties.
Detached properties have seen the least reduction with 12.9% compared to 16.3% in
Daventry and 20% in Northampton. Despite the reductions, house prices are still the
highest in the county and issues around affordability to attract and retain younger
families remain.

                                  7. TRANSPORT

Communication links
The District sits in the M1/West Coast Mainline corridor between London and the
West Midlands. It is has good access to the national highway network including the
M1 and M40 with their onward links to major conurbations, such as London and
Birmingham, to economically important regions such as the South East, West
Midlands and the North West, and to major ports and airports. The West Coast
Mainline runs through the District, but the nearest station for mainline services is
Milton Keynes to the south, with connecting services to Milton Keynes and Rugby
available at Northampton. Commuter and other services are available at
Northampton to London and Birmingham. The Chiltern Line connecting London and
Birmingham calls at Kings Sutton in the west of the District. The east of the District is
served by Wellingborough station on the Midland Mainline, connecting London to the
East Midlands and beyond.

The M1 has three junctions in the District, Junction 15 serving the A508 which links
with Milton Keynes to the south west and the dual carriageway A45 to the east. This
links with the towns in the east of Northamptonshire, including Wellingborough and
the A6 Towns, the A6 trunk road itself, the A1 (M) and the A14 connecting to the east
coast. Junction 15A joins the dual carriageway A43, coming from the west, Oxford
and the M40, to the M1. East of the M1 the A43 connects to Northampton and a
route links around the town to the east bound A45. At Junction 16 the A45 from
Northampton strikes northwards toward Daventry and Coventry. The M1 via the M45
provides a better route to Coventry and the M6 branching off the M1 provides a
motorway route to Birmingham and the West Midlands. The A14 connects to the M1
close the M1/M6 junction.

The A5 trunk road runs north-south through the District from London to Anglesey.
Near Junction 18 of the M1 the A5 passes the Daventry International Rail Freight
terminus, a road/rail transfer facility which connects to the European rail system. In
the District the A5 runs through the centre of Towcester, creating congestion and air
pollution to the detriment of both town and traffic. An Air Quality Management Area
exists in the centre of Towcester. The development of some 3000 houses and
employment land proposed to the south of the town would increase congestion and
pollution levels. Accordingly, a by-pass to the south of Towcester should accompany
this development, along with traffic management and other measures in the centre.

The two market towns, Towcester and Brackley, are on the major routes through the
District, the A43 and the A5 providing good local linkages to the road network and to
jobs, services, shops and facilities of the nearby urban centres, particularly
Northampton, Milton Keynes and Oxford.

Air quality is an issue to the north of the town at the A5/A43 junction, an AQMA has
not been declared but the matter will be monitored. Upgrades to this junction will be
considered in the light of the additional traffic pressures arising from the development
proposed to the south of Towcester and development at Silverstone adding to
congestion at the junction. Junction capacity will also have to be considered further
south where the A5 by-pass to the south of the town joins the A43. The timing and
scale of the improvements will be decided by the Highways Agency

Usual Method of Travel to Work (Percentage of people aged 16-74 in

                   Northamptonshire                     South    Northampton   Daventry
                                  9.00%                11.80%         7.50%     11.80%
Work mainly
at or from

                                  1.30%                 1.70%         1.30%      1.20%

Bus minibus                       4.40%                 1.90%         7.20%      1.80%
or coach
Motorcycle                        0.80%                 0.80%         0.70%      0.90%
scooter or
Driving a car                   64.10%                 68.80%        61.20%     66.90%
or a van
Passenger                         7.70%                 6.00%         8.20%      6.30%
in a car or a
Taxi                              0.60%                 0.20%         0.50%      0.30%
Bicycle                           2.30%                 1.60%         2.90%      1.50%
On foot                           9.50%                 6.90%        10.30%      9.00%
Other                             0.30%                 0.40%         0.30%      0.40%
                                   100%                  100%          100%       100%
Source: Office for National Statistics 2001

Distance Travelled to work
All People              South Northamptonshire %
Works mainly at or      8.67%
from home
Less than 2 km          10.54%

2km to 5km                  5.77%

5km to 10km                 13.13%

10km to 20km                15.68%

20km to 30km                5.74%

30km to 40km                3.07%
40km to 60km

60km and over               4.50%

No fixed place of work      3.59%

Working outside the UK 0.17%

Working offshore            0.03%

Not currently working
Source: ONS 2001

South Northamptonshire Resident Travel Flows
Area of workplace                      Numbers
London                                 1,059
Northampton                            6,270
Birmingham                             130
Coventry                               163
Milton Keynes                          5,231
Oxford                                 558
Banbury                                2959
Bedford                                148
Source: 2001 Census - UK Travel Flows


The data demonstrates a high level of working from home in the district which is
shared by Daventry. The District also experiences significant out commuting
particularly to Northampton and Milton Keynes. Development of employment land in
the district has not matched housing growth which reduces the ability to reduce this
trend in the future.