Everybody needs good neighbours - sense of community is alive and well in Plymouth

The older you are, the more neighbours you know, according to a new survey by Barratt Homes which is creating new homes in Plymouth.

Questioning 2,000 people from across the region, the leading housebuilder was keen to gauge how neighbourly we really are - particularly in an age where busy lifestyles seemingly afford us little time for small talk.

“We sell homes to a range of buyers with different backgrounds and lifestyles - from those entering the property market for the first time, to growing families and retirees,” said sales director Sara Parker.

“It is important to us that we are helping to create new communities, rather than just bricks and mortar, so we are interested to know how close-knit UK neighbourhoods really are.

“The fact that almost a third of those we asked could name five or more people living around them is very heartening. But there is a difference, depending on age.”

An impressive 52 per cent of over 55s knew the names of five or more people within their neighbourhood - compared to 17.3 per cent in the 18-24 category. Only 3.6 per cent of our older citizens weren’t able to name anyone living around them - with the younger generation much less familiar, at 20.4 per cent.

“As the age groups move up the scale, we see a pattern developing,” added Sara. “We get older, and we become closer to more local residents. It’s fair to say, there is a time consideration here. But those within the sandwich generation - the 45-54 age group - are incredibly busy people, yet they are still able to pass the time of day with neighbours - so there are other factors in play.

“Social media has changed the way we communicate - and it has made the world a much smaller place. Rather than having a quick chat with the person next door, we can instantly connect with someone on the other side of the World. Despite this, we at Barratt Homes understand the importance of local community. We encourage neighbours to talk to each other and we design our developments accordingly. While ensuring our buyers have privacy when they want it, we provide plenty of shared space and facilities for them all to enjoy together.

“Even among our youngest of survey respondents, almost 80 per cent knew at least one person within their local area - and that’s certainly a step in the right direction.”

Survey results. How many neighbours could they name?

18-24
none - 20.4 per cent
one or two - 38.1 per cent
three to five - 24.2 per cent
more than five - 17.3 per cent

25-34
none - 15 per cent
one or two - 43.1 per cent
three to five - 24.6 per cent
more than five - 17.3 per cent

35-44
none - 9.8 per cent
one or two - 38.2 per cent
three to five - 27.4 per cent
more than five - 24.6 per cent

45-54
none - 3.5 per cent
one or two - 37 per cent
three to five - 27.7 per cent
more than five - 31.8 per cent

55+
none - 3.6 per cent
one or two - 16.3 per cent
three to five - 28.1 per cent
more than five - 52 per cent

Barratt is currently working on a number of new developments in the Plymouth area including Redwood Heights in Plympton and Lucerne Fields in Ivybridge