Will people leave cities behind post pandemic?

Planning

Yes, the vaccination programme is progressing nicely and yes, the end of lockdown is within sight. However, has the Covid-19 pandemic caused a huge shift in the way we feel about our homes and where we live?

Remote working

Remote working has always been a ‘thing’, but pre-pandemic, many businesses opted for the traditional approach to working, with offices acting as a base for their employees. However, Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns, quarantines and self-imposed isolation, presented these businesses with only one choice – remote working.

As a result, companies, worldwide, have adopted very different attitudes to their working strategies, such that the office for some, is now not a necessity. Some employees can undertake all of their work from home with others adopting a hybrid approach with some days in the office and some at home.

Work location has a huge impact on our living situation and so if employees aren’t required in the office five days per week, they may look at moving further afield to the country pad they’d always dreamed of.

Outside space

Our head Office is based in Cheltenham – The perfect blend of town and country living. A buzzing town with so many lovely villages and countryside spaces lining its parameters. From a personal perspective (and I’m sure many others share in this opinion) I was extremely grateful for so many beautiful walks on our doorstep, especially in those early days of lockdown, whereby we were only allowed one bout of fresh air per day, outside of our home and back garden.

I can imagine living within a city, at this time, was particularly hard and so this will be another motivator for individuals and families as we move forward through this time and look to the future.

A different space

Closely linked with the above point, as well as actual home location, many individuals will now be seeking homes with a better outdoor space. As we all know, sales for garden furniture, hot tubs and suchlike went through the roof during this time and so this will also impact the location and type of properties, people are seeking at this time.

It may also be that those who already live in the countryside want to extend or adapt their current living space to include a better living space or the addition of a gym, outside office building for example.

There’s no question this pandemic has changed the way we work and live. For all of the aforementioned reasons as well as the cost of city living, many people will consider their current housing space and location. Whether the post-Covid migration ends up being another urban pipe dream, or, simply a continuation of an age-old cycle, we have yet again observed the cons of cities in a time of crisis. Now, with more emphasis being placed on remote working, a door has been opened, demonstrating future doesn’t have to look the same as the past.

If you are thinking about a planning application or need assistance with a site appraisal or development potential, contact us now: 01242 231575 or email info@sfplanning.co.uk

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