Sellafield: the last in affordable housing

radioactive If you want to live in affordable housing, then the only place to be in the England is around Britain's largest nuclear accident.

Copeland, up in Cumbria, a borough which is the home of Sellafield, is the only bit of England with "easily affordable" housing still available. The houses are cheap, but all the cows have webbed legs and everyone down the pub might look like a Toxic Crusader.

Copeland hosts 70% of Britain's higher-activity radioactive waste.

A report from the TUC found that this area is the only local authority in England where the average house price is less than three times the average annual salary. Back in 1997, one in five areas had average prices that were affordable to the typical homebuyer.

Of course, it isn't all grim in Copeland. The power plant actually provides the area with a lot of well paid jobs and, for your buck, you also get Scafell Pike, the Duddon estuary and an area that rivals the Lake District, but isn't nearly as poncy. If you move to Copeland's neighbour, South Lakeland, houses there are eight times the average local salary.

The TUC general secretary, Frances O'Grady, says: "London always comes out top when it comes to horror stories about ludicrously over-priced housing, but the toxic combination of rising property prices and falling real wages has meant that local housing affordability remains a huge problem for millions of people across the country."

"Houses and flats in traditionally affordable areas of the country – from Kirklees to Great Yarmouth and Plymouth to Oldham – are now out of reach for many local people."

"We need an ambitious programme of home-building to get house prices back under control," O'Grady added. "But housing affordability isn't just about house prices, decent wages are just as important and there is a lot of ground to make up before we return to the kind of salaries that people were earning before the crash."


  • Ray P.
    good use of the word "Toxic"
  • GodisIntheDetails
    After a series of unreported spillages, no one in the area needs to pay for lighting or Hi-Viz clothing. The down-side is that the childrens game "Murder in the Dark" has become impossible to play.

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