Back to September 2019

Cafes and open spaces ‘key’ to creating communities on new developments

  • 70% urged housebuilders to build amenities
  • 61% said open spaces helped create a sense of community

House buyers believe constructing amenities and including open spaces are important in helping to build a sense of community on new developments.

A national survey* conducted by Leeds Building Society asked people how property developers and housebuilders can foster a greater sense of community at their sites.

Building amenities was the top priority for those surveyed, named by 70% of people as a way of fostering community spirit, followed by creating open spaces and playgrounds (61%) and improving layout to encourage shared spaces (56%).

Coffee shops and cafes were named as important local amenities when it comes to making a positive contribution to the community, as they offer a space for people to meet and a venue for community meetings or projects.

Ensuring a mix of property types (53%) and building community hubs for residents to gather and socialise (52%) rounded out the top five requests on developers.

Richard Fearon, Leeds Building Society Chief Executive Officer, said: “As a mutual we were founded on the principle of people helping people so we understand how important strong local communities can be.

“Housebuilders and developers are already working hard to deliver a variety of housing types across their sites so it’s positive to see this highlighted as a way of building communities.

“Variety within the housing stock on a development enables different types of buyer to purchase a new home, whether that’s first time buyers, people using Shared Ownership to step onto the property ladder or those downsizing to a new house for their retirement.

“We know from our experience helping people have the home they want that a mixture of house sizes and tenures is vital to the success of the housing market as a whole.”


Notes to Editors

*A national survey of 1,420 people was conducted in August 2019

Leeds Building Society operates throughout the UK and in Gibraltar and had assets of £20.7bn at 30 June 2019 (£19.4bn at 30 June 2018). The Society is a Best Companies 2* employer and its head office is in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.

The Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender in the 2019 What Mortgage Awards, its fourth consecutive year of success in this category. It also was named Best Lender for Later Life Lending in the Legal & General Mortgage Club Awards 2019.