Changes in rural Settlement in Britain
Within the British Isles there are areas where the rural population is increasing, resulting in a changing size, morphology and function of villages. In contrast, usually in more remote areas, there is rural depopulation.
Accessibility to Urban Areas
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The concept of a green belt is to restrict the erection of houses and other buildings and to preserve and conserve areas of countryside for farming and recreational purposes. Beyond the green belt, new towns and overspill towns were built to accommodate new arrivals to the nearby city. These new settlements were designed to become self-supporting both economically and sociably, and although in rural areas, they developed urban characteristics and functions. A local example of and urban area beyond a green belt is Aylesbury which is outside of London.
Detached, stone built houses with slate/thatch roofs. Some farms. Most over 100 years old. Barns
New, mainly detached or semis . Renovated barns or cottages. Expensive planned estates, garages.
Farming and primary jobs. Labouring/manual groups.
Professional/executive, commuters. Wealthy with young families or retired
Bus service, some cars, narrow/winding roads.
Decline in bus service as most families have 1 or 2 cars. Better roads
Village shop. Small junior school. Public house. Village hall
More shops, enlarged school, modern public houses/restaurants
Small, close-knit community
Local community swamped. Village may be deserted during day.
Quiet, relatively pollution free.
More noise and risk of more pollution. Loss of farmland/open space
Less accessible settlements
These villages are further in distance from or have poorer transport to links to the nearest city. Though these villages may be relatively stable in size their social and economic make up is changing. Many in the younger age group move out, pushed by a shortage of jobs and social life. They are replaced by retired people seeking quietness and a pleasant environment though often not realising that the rural areas lack many of the areas required by the elderly such as shops buses etc.
The more wealthy urban dwellers seeking relaxation away from the stress of their local working and living environment, buy vacant properties in villages. This can lead to extra local trade but also that locals cannot afford the inflated prices. A less accessible settlement nearby is the village of Chinnor. It is a small settlement with a school, a church and a pub.
These areas suffer from a population loss, which leaves houses empty, and villages decreasing in size. Resultant problems include lack of job opportunities, few services and poor transportation. The cost of providing services to remote areas is high and there is often suffiecient demand to keep local shops or village schools open. A good local example of this is Long Crendon which is a small settlement which contains a few houses, a school and a court house.