12,300 People Live In Every Square Mile Of Lancaster– Is Lancaster Over Crowded?

Lancaster is already in the clutches of a population crisis that has now started to affect the quality of life of those living in Lancaster.  There are simply not enough homes in Lancaster to house the greater number of people wanting to live in the city.  The burden on public services is almost at breaking point with many parents unable to send their child to their first choice of primary or secondary school and the chances of getting a decent Dentist or GP Doctor Surgery next to nil. Can you imagine what the papers would say?  The headlines they would write?

Let’s look at real numbers, and in particular my specialist subject of Lancaster Property, with the housing issue in Lancaster.   To start with, the UK has roughly 1,065 people per square mile – the second highest in Europe.  The total area of Lancaster itself is 3.879 square miles and there are 48,000 Lancaster residents, meaning …

12,300 people live in each square mile of Lancaster, it’s no wonder we appear to be bursting at the seams!

A square mile is enormous, so the numbers look correspondingly large (and headline grabbing).  Most people reading this will know what an ‘acre’ is, but those younger readers who don’t, it is an imperial unit of measurement for land and it is approximately 63 metres square.

In Lancaster, only 17.66 people live in every acre of Lancaster … not as headline grabbing, but a lot closer to home and relative to everyday life, and if I am being honest, a figure that doesn’t seem that bad.

Yet, the issue at hand is, we need more homes building.  In 2007, Tony Blair set a target that 240,000 homes a year needed to be built to keep up with the population growth, whilst the Tory’s new target since 2010 was a more modest 200,000 a year.  However, since 2010, as a country, we have only been building between 140,000 and 150,000 houses a year.  So where are we going to build these homes ..because we have no space!  Or do we?

I found out recently fascinating piece of information in an official Government report.  Looking specifically at England (as it is the most densely populated country of the Union), all the 20 million English homes cover only 1.1% of its land mass.  That is not a typo, only one point one per cent (1.1%) of land in England is covered by residential property.  In more detail, of all the land in the Country –


How land is used Nationally in the UK


  • Residential Houses and Flats 1.1%
  • Gardens 4.3%
  • Shops and Offices 0.7%
  • Highways (Roads and Paths) 2.3%
  • Railways 0.1%
  • Water (Rivers /Reservoirs) 2.6%
  • Industry, Military and other uses 1.4%


This leaves 88.5% as Open Countryside (and if you think about it, add to that the gardens, which are green spaces, and the country is 92.8% green space)

As a country, we have plenty of space to build more homes for the younger generation and the five million more homes needed in the next 20 years would use only 0.25% of the country’s land.  Now I am not advocating building massive housing estates and 20 storey concrete and glass behemoth apartment blocks next to local beauty spots such as Lancaster Castle or Williamson Park, but with some clever planning and joined up thinking, we really do need to think outside the box when it comes to how we are going to build and house our children and our children’s children in the coming 50 years in Lancaster.  If anyone has their own ideas, I would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, if you would like to read other articles about the Lancaster Property Market, keep on checking our blog www.lancasterpropertyblog.co.uk