Castle Carrock (Carlisle City Council)

Introduction
Location

The village of Castle Carrock is in the parish of Castle Carrock and the administrative district of Carlisle City Council, ten miles east of Carlisle accessed along the A69 to Brampton and then about six miles south along the B6413.

Demographics
The village has a population of about 310 in about 120 households. (i)

Case study
The case study in Castle Carrock was on Meadow View, a development of four one-bedroom bungalows owned by Anchor Trust.

Profile of the Village
1. Important attributes for residents living in Castle Carrock

  • The peace and quiet and being close to larger towns.

2. Services available in the village
Castle Carrock has the necessary amenities for a small rural village: a post office (with basic food essentials), a church, a primary school and a village hall. There are several community groups such as toddler groups and the Women’s Institute.

3. School

  • In addition to mother-and-toddler groups, Castle Carrock also has a foundation infant and junior school for mixed pupils aged 4-11years.
  • The details outlined below have been taken from the April 2000 OFSTED inspection report.

‘Although there is a low turnover of families moving into or out of the area, pupil numbers have increased in the last 5 years.’

  • There are 82 on the school roll.
  • The average number of pupils per qualified teacher is 19.
  • The average class size is 20.5.
  • The quality of the teaching was at the least satisfactory.
  • Overall effectiveness is satisfactory.
  • The provision for special needs was good.
  • Parents held positive views towards the school.
  • Pupil numbers increased from 61 to 82 in the last five years.
  • The nearest secondary schools are in Brampton and Carlisle.

4. Police and fire

  • The village has been allocated a community police officer and Castle Carrock is patrolled daily.
  • A mobile police station visits once a month.
  • The nearest police station is in Brampton.
  • The nearest fire station is in Brampton but this is staffed part-time.

5. Transport

  • There is a bus service twice a day, four times a week.
  • An adult single fare to Carlisle is £3.10.
  • Residents spoke of an inadequate and infrequent service, which especially affects the elderly.
  • 91% of the residents in Castle Carrock have the use of a car. (ii)
  • The nearest railway stations are Brampton and Carlisle.

6. Local employment

  • Approximately 20 people are self employed or work on farms.
  • All others of working age commute to Brampton, Carlisle, Penrith and Newcastle.
  • Approximately 20 professionals have moved into the village in recent years.

7. Weekly average incomes
Cumbria Rural Housing Trust’s Rural Housing Strategy details weekly average incomes in Carlisle based on an average of figures available from Cumbria County Council, New Earnings Survey and the Office of National Statistics. Averages were used as figures varied greatly: this information should therefore be used only for illustrative purposes.

District

Gross Weekly Income Weekly Income Low Pay High Pay Average annual Salary
Carlisle City Council £327.50 265.30 172.00 454.00 £17,030
*Note: Disposable income = 19% deducted from gross to take into account tax, NI and pension contributions

Employees on an average income would therefore need 11 times their annual salary to buy an average-priced house on the open market.

8. The cost of a bag of shopping
Compared with a town-based supermarket.

  • Bread
  • Milk 1 pint
  • Eggs (6)
  • Beans (435g)
  • Tea (80-100bags)
  • Coffee (100g)
  • Toilet Rolls (4)
  • Butter (250g)

Current housing provision in Castle Carrock
1. Case study – Meadow View

  • Anchor Trust has four one-bedroom bungalows.
  • There are no local occupancy clauses.
  • The properties are under Council Tax band A (£799.01).

Type of accommodation

Rent (per week) Service charge (per week)
1-bed bungalow £43.69 £6.42
 

2. Other social housing provision

  • Carlisle City Council originally had two three-bedroom houses but both have now been lost through the Right to Buy
  • The parish has three cottages known as the ‘Watson Cottages’. These cottages are rented to the local people and surplus revenue supports the village hall.

3. Council Tax banding

Council Band A £799.01
Council Band B £932.17
Council Band C £1,065.34
Council Band D £1,198.51

4. Housing market prices (Jan-March 2003) (iii)

Detached no data available
Semi-Detached £198,750
Terraced no data available
Flat £149,145
Average House Price £173,947

Key statistics

  • 3.5% of total housing stock is rented social housing.
  • 33% of social landlord housing stock has been lost through the Right to Buy. This figure includes social landlord stock where Right to Acquire does not apply.
  • The 1991 Census records one property in Castle Carrock as a non-permanent-residence home (0.8% of total housing stock).
  • About eight holiday cottages are being developed in existing buildings on brown-field sites.
  • The ratio of affordable housing to non-permanent-residence homes is 4:1.

1. Case study return rate
There was a 25% response rate from the case-study questionnaire showing:

2. Reasons for residents accepting a tenancy
The development is mainly for elderly people, so all the respondents were retired and had wanted more suitable accommodation and to be nearer their families.

3. Employment information
The development is for elderly households, so all respondents were retired.

Case study planning details: ref no: (90/0062)
1. Housing need

There is no evidence of housing needs data at the time of the planning application. As the project was built on an infill site in the village boundary, no housing needs information was required to justify a planning decision.

Cumbria Rural Housing Trust completed a housing needs survey in 2001 in the parish which identified two households needing affordable housing provision. Their requirements could be met by the existing Anchor Housing Trust scheme. At the time of the survey, however, priority was not given to households in the parish.

2. Timescale for permission
Application date: 16.01.1990
Decision date: not available
Planning permission notice date: 16.03.1990

The time to receive detailed planning consent was three months, through what appears to have been a very straightforward application process.

3. Planning policy at the time of development
The site was an infill site on the eastern side of the village main street, so it did not attract any Section 106 planning obligations in relation to occupancy restrictions.

4. Opposition and support to the scheme
The parish council supported the development and also played a part in instigating the development.
The County highways department made no objections to the proposals; however, they did make several specification recommendations.

Importance and impact of affordable housing in Castle Carrock

  • Meadow View has had little effect on the village.
  • It has allowed older people to live in more suitable accommodation and in some cases to be near their families.
  • There are concerns that a ‘local’ may not be a priority for a house in the development since there are no local occupancy restrictions.

Unlike some of the other communities visited there is not a real housing issue, whether it be second homes, or lack of affordable and suitable accommodation for the residents. The one concern for many of the residents interviewed was with the new residents – the ‘commuters’.

Castle Carrock appears to have attracted a lot of professional people in recent years. These are people who want to be near larger towns such as Carlisle but still wish to live in rural surroundings. Castle Carrock is the perfect location for this lifestyle. The comments received from those interviewed are:

  • Evidence would suggest that many do not use the post office regularly, since they can use the larger stores. Indeed, the post office is unsure about its future and cites this reason.
  • The community is split between the older residents and the new residents.
  • Housing that was affordable to villagers a few years ago will diminish as affluent people buy up the property coming onto the market.
  • This is attracting private developers who are aware that people can afford high house prices.
  • Therefore, the young residents have to move away, and residents who are settled in the village cannot move into bigger accommodation since prices are increasing.
  • A recent private development that was not in keeping with the landscape was met by a lot of local opposition.
  • The arrival of the commuters has had a positive effect on the school, supported by the increase in pupil numbers.
  • The representative of the school who was interviewed (who had been there for 12 years) was aware of a community split and was concerned that this may ultimately affect the dynamics of the school.

Parish council views
The Parish Council supported the assessment and evaluation of the present situation in Castle Carrock.

Conclusion
Castle Carrock is a sustainable village but there are some serious issues which could affect its future. These are not directly to do with housing or second-home ownership but the increase in more affluent households arriving to live in the village.

At present, this apparent split in the community is not a serious issue. A problem may arise if house prices continue to increase, private developers build for a particular clientele and the residents are forced to move away. The question also needs to be asked whether the new residents would be happy to have, should there come a need, a social housing development built. Evidence would suggest a need for more low-cost housing for young families to enable them to set up home in the parish, to help alleviate the pressures on a separating community.

In addition, at present, the local post office is suffering from lack of trade. This is affecting its future and could cause problems for the elderly who rely on it for essentials since travelling further afield is inappropriate and difficult. This is not helped by the inadequate public transport.

Sources:
i Cumbria County Council 1997 Local Profiles, www.cumbria.gov.uk - Office for National Statistics, Information and Intelligence 1997
ii Cumbria County Council 1997 Local Profiles, www.cumbria.gov.uk
iii Land Registry www.landregistry.gov.uk and upmystreet.com
iv www.nationalstatistics.gov.uk