Cliburn (Eden District Council)



The village of Cliburn is in the administrative district of Eden District Council, eight miles south of Penrith, and can be accessed from the A6 to Shap.

The village has a population of about 190 (81 properties) and is within the parish of Cliburn. (i)

Case study
The case study in Cliburn was on Cuthbert’s Close, a development of four three-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom houses owned by Mitre Housing Association.

Profile of the village
1. Important attributes for residents living in Cliburn

  • 67% said they liked Cliburn because of the scenery and the peace and quiet.
  • 33% listed the community as being important.

2. Services available in the village
Cliburn is lacking in visible local services. However, there is a public house and a village hall that organises various community activities. In addition one member of the community gets newspapers delivered to her house and the residents collect their paper from there. There is also a mobile butcher who delivers to Cliburn.

  • The public house is having difficulties and this was blamed on the ‘community change’ seen over the years.
  • The majority of residents interviewed favoured a return of the village shop.
  • The closure of the school appears to have affected the community. One resident described it as the ‘heart of the community’.

3. School

  • There is no nursery care in Cliburn.
  • The nearest primary school is in Morland (2 miles).
  • There is a bus to Bolton primary school (3 miles).
  • The nearest secondary school is in Ullswater (5 miles).
  • There are also buses which run to secondary schools in Penrith and Appleby.

4. Police and fire

  • The village has been allocated a community police officer and Cliburn is patrolled daily.
  • A mobile police station visits once a month.
  • The nearest police station is in Appleby.
  • The nearest fire station is in Penrith and is staffed part-time.

5. Transport

  • There is a bus service to Penrith and Langwathby.
  • The nearest railway stations are Penrith and Kendal.
  • 93% of the residents in Cliburn own one car or more.

6. Local employment

  • The majority of residents work in Penrith and a few in Appleby.
  • There are one or two local farmers.
  • Centre Parcs has not affected Cliburn due to the transport difficulties linking the village with the holiday complex.

7. Weekly average incomes
Cumbria Rural Housing Trust’s Rural Housing Strategy details weekly average incomes in Eden district 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 purpose.


Gross Weekly Income Weekly Income Low Pay High Pay Average annual Salary
Eden £250.00 205.00 148.50 554.00 £13,000
*Note: Disposable income = 19% deducted from gross to take into account tax, NI and pension contributions

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

8. The cost of a bag of shopping
There is no shop in Cliburn, so comparisons on the cost of a bag of shopping could not be made.

Current housing provision in Cliburn
1. Case study - Cuthbert’s Close, Cliburn

  • Mitre Housing Association has four three-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom houses.
  • They were completed in 1992.
  • Eden District Council has 50% nomination rights.
  • It has been 18 months to two years since any properties became vacant.
  • The properties are under Council Tax band B (£899.32).
  • The rents are not restructured.
  • There is no section 106 restricting occupancy on the properties.

Type of accommodation

Rent (per week) Service charge (per week)
2-bed houses £60.38 £3.87
3-bed houses £60.38 £3.87

2. Other social housing provision

  • Eden Housing Association owns three further properties.
  • Four properties have been lost through the Right to Buy scheme.

3. Council Tax banding
Eden District Council reported that the majority of properties in RSL ownership would be either band A, B or C. Detached £136,375 Council Tax bandings for Cliburn are as follows:

Council Band A £770.85
Council Band B £899.32
Council Band C £1,027.80
Council Band D £1,156.27

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

Detached £136,375
Semi-Detached £90,300
Terraced £69,513
Flat £81,083
Average House Price £87,169

Key statistics

  • 11% of properties are rented social housing.
  • The 1991 census records seven properties within Cliburn where the accommodation is not used as a main residence (9% of total housing stock).
  • 30% of total social landlord stock has been lost in the village through Right to Buy. This figure includes social landlord properties where Right to Acquire does not apply.
  • The approximate ratio of affordable housing to non-permanent-residence homes is 1:1.

1. Case-study return rate
There was a 50% response rate from the case-study questionnaire showing:

2. Reasons for residents accepting a tenancy

  • 67% of the responses had family and friends in the village before moving into the property.
  • 33% previously lived in the village and wished to stay.
  • 33% previously had unsatisfactory accommodation.
  • 33% formation of a new household.

3. Employment

  • 100% of the respondents worked full time.
  • 100% of respondents travelled within a five-mile radius to work.
  • 100% of the respondents had a car and would use it to get to work.

Case study planning details: ref no: (91/0058)
1. Housing need

Evidence of housing need was provided by Eden District Council at the time of this planning application.

2. Timescales
Application date: 28.01.91
Decision date: 23.05.91 (subject to conditions).
The actual time to receive planning approval was four months.

3. Planning policy at the time of development
Eden District Council did not have a local plan at the time of this application, so there were no set policies under which applications were considered, other than good design, density, etc.

Eden District Council did not operate a village development boundary system, so any development in a village was treated according to its merits and its proximity to the existing structures in the village.

The proposals were not treated as an exception to planning policy as no such policy existed at the time.

4. Opposition and support for the scheme
It appears that the only opposition to this proposal stemmed from concerns about the disposal of sewage from the proposed development. It appears that this matter was resolved during the four-month planning application process.
Importance and impact of affordable housing in Cliburn
The affordable housing provision has allowed families to live in Cliburn. However, it is difficult to draw any conclusions about the effect of the site, especially on the local services, since these are limited. The public house said that the effect was minimal and the residents were not regulars. However, one of the resident’s partners is on the village hall committee and he commented that these events are well attended.

All the local residents we interviewed believed that affordable housing was a good idea. There were more negative attitudes towards non-residents who had come to retire in the village and the new private developments being built, and it was said that this was changing the community for the worst. The majority of respondents had no problem with Cuthbert’s Close and said it was helping to retain families in the village. Several residents, including a resident who had witnessed a change in the community over the years, wanted affordable housing but to buy rather than just to rent. Some of the older residents had complained of noise from the development. However, one resident remarked that this showed how the community was split between those who wanted a peaceful and retiring village and another side who welcomed the need for families and children into the village.
Parish council views
The parish council also expressed concerns for Cliburn but was very positive about its future, since plenty of families have moved into the
village and a vibrant community life appears to have developed since the building of the village hall.
Concerns were expressed about the drainage system in Cliburn, which is causing problems for future building developments.

Cliburn, as with many rural villages, has been confronted with change. Those who have lived in the village for a long time have witnessed a local shop and school close down, both of which were focal points of community life. The difficulty facing the public house is another blow for Cliburn.

It had been believed that Cliburn could be a base for employees for the Centre Parcs development, but poor transport links between Cliburn and the Parcs had made this unfeasible.

The main success of the affordable housing development, it would seem, is that it has allowed several families to move into Cliburn – essential to form a community.

There is positive news in that a new village hall has been built and community activities and events are organised and appear to be well attended. In addition it seems to have united some of the community, who are now hoping for the introduction of new services in the future. It could perhaps be argued that the affordable housing came too late to save the last school and services.

It is difficult to assess Cliburn in terms of sustainability especially since it has been unable to support village services in the past. Also, unlike other communities, there does not seem an urgent need for housing. However, the future could be brighter especially as there are far more children in the community than ever before. Evidence suggests a need for more low-cost housing to enable young families to settle and stay in the village.

i Cumbria County Council 1997 Local Profiles, - Office for National Statistics, Information and Intelligence 1997
ii Land Registry and