Babergh chosen as one of top 30 best places to live in UK
- Credit: Gregg Brown
The Babergh district has been voted one of the best 30 places in the UK to live in an annual quality of life survey.
The beauty of Constable Country, as well as the historic towns of Sudbury and Hadleigh, and picture-postcard villages like Lavenham, Long Melford and Kersey, helped to win the high ranking for the area.
Babergh took 27th place in the Halifax quality of life survey, while two other districts in the county made the top 50 - St Edmundsbury, 45th and Mid Suffolk, 47th.
Babergh councillor Alastair McCraw said: “It’s very nice to be chosen as one of the most attractive places to live. It’s the beauty of the place - we have two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Suffolk Coast and Heaths and Dedham Vale, and places like Lavenham, which has been seen a lot on TV.
“Then there’s the Shotley peninsula - I came here in 1978 from Aberdeen and it is beautiful. I fell for it hook, line and sinker, and decided I wanted to live there for the rest of my life. It helped that I met a Brantham girl!”
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Orkney was crowned the UK’s best place to live nationally, after being the runner-up for the last two years. Richmondshire in North Yorkshire took second place.
The survey looks at a range of data covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education, health, personal wellbeing and leisure, to rank the areas with the best quality of life.
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High employment levels, low crime rate, strong exam results, smaller primary school class sizes and good health and happiness scores helped propel Orkney to the top spot, Halifax said. Orkney is also a relatively affordable place to live.
Richmondshire is followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Hambleton in North Yorkshire and Eden in Cumbria.
Parts of the South score well on employment, earnings, life expectancy and health and the weather, while the North tends to fare better in terms of housing affordability, lower traffic flows and population densities and lower primary school sizes.
Surprisingly, the Suffolk Coastal district missed out on a spot in this year’s top 50, despite coming 24th last year, while Chelmsford and Maldon in Essex also lost their places after featuring in last year’slist. There were also no Norfolk districts among those in the top 50.
Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “Orkney has consistently been considered one of the best places to live in the UK and Orcadians will be delighted to hear they have now taken the crown.
“Its remote location may not be for everyone, but this comes with the benefit of having high employment, low crime rates, smaller class sizes and more affordable housing.”
“While the South East continues to have the most locations in the top 50, we’ve seen northern areas perform particularly well on education, while they also benefit from lower house prices when compared to average earnings.”
Here are the top 50 places in the UK in Halifax’s 2019 quality of life survey:
1. Orkney, Scotland
2. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
3. Rutland, East Midlands
4. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber
5. Eden, North West
6. South Oxfordshire, South East
7. Cotswold, South West
8. Ryedale, Yorkshire and the Humber
9. St Albans, East of England
10. Derbyshire Dales, East Midlands
11. Vale of White Horse, South East
12. Waverley, South East
13. Hart, South East
14. East Hertfordshire, East of England
15. Westminster, London
16. Winchester, South East
17. Rushmoor, South East
18. Uttlesford, East of England
19. Wychavon, West Midlands
20. Harborough, East Midlands
21. South Cambridgeshire, East of England
22. Rushcliffe, East Midlands
23. Ribble Valley, North West
24. Surrey Heath, South East
25. Wokingham, South East
26. Harrogate, Yorkshire and the Humber
27. Babergh, East of England
28. West Oxfordshire, South East
29. South Buckinghamshire, South East
30. Windsor and Maidenhead, South East
31. Warwick, West Midlands
32. Elmbridge, South East
33. Chichester, South East
34. Stratford-on-Avon, West Midlands
35. Lichfield, West Midlands
36. Malvern Hills, West Midlands
37. Rochford, East of England
38. Chiltern, South East
39. Shetland, Scotland
40. Richmond-upon-Thames, London
41. West Berkshire, South East
42. Basingstoke and Deane, South East
43. South Hams, South West
44. Fareham, South East
45. St Edmundsbury, East of England
46. Wycombe, South East
47. Mid Suffolk, East of England
48. Monmouthshire, Wales
49. Daventry, East Midlands
50. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber
And here are the local authority districts with the best quality of life in each region in 2019, according to Halifax’s quality of life survey:
• South Oxfordshire, South East
• Rutland, East Midlands
• St Albans, East of England
• Wychavon, West Midlands
• Westminster, London
• Cotswold, South West
• Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber
• Monmouthshire, Wales
• Orkney, Scotland
• Eden, North West
• Lisburn and Castlereagh, Northern Ireland
• Northumberland, North East