Twaddle #3: Population growth figures unpicked

Population Growth in Eden and Penrith

Will dualling the A66 and unsubstantiated economic development increase the population of Penrith to 2050 by 85% compared with the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) projections?


The Eden Local Plan (2014 to 2032) and Penrith Masterplan figures:


Eden             2014             52000 (approx)

2032             57400  (end of Local Plan)

2052             71000  (19000 increase)

Penrith           2014             15800 (approx)

2032             18000

2052             27600 (assumes growth in Penrith is 75% of Eden)


Eden             2014             23000 (approx)

2032             27000

2052             32000 (9000 increase)

Penrith          Increase by 6600 from 2014 to 2052


The Penrith Masterplan preferred option assumption is that Eden’s population will have an unprecedented high growth fast rate for a sustained period from 2032

In the masterplan Richmondshire in North Yorkshire is claimed to be comparable to Eden in size and with a strategic location close to main transport infrastructure and had an average growth of 0.8% per annum from 1991 to 2016.


Reality (Figures for 25 years 2016 to 2041 from ONS 2018)

Population projected figures

Eden   2016             52646

2026             52695

2032             52549  (146 decrease – end of Eden Plan)

2041             52083  (563 decrease)


Richmondshire’s population, after significant growth over a 25 year period to 2016, is projected to decrease by 3.0% (1700) by 2026.

Household projected figures

Eden   2016             23571

2041             24816   (1245 increase)

Penrith – household increase approximately 600 assuming half Eden’s growth is in Penrith.

We find EDC’s claims about population growth to be incredible and rather Orwellian.

On p9 of the Masterplan Technical Analysis it states the following:

‘Household affordability is an issue for Penrith, since there is a big difference between house prices and average incomes. The town has a low wage economy and there are few young professionals, due to a lack of high value jobs…New Homes are therefore required to help rebalance the population…’

We read this to mean as follows:

Say there are 5000 homes in old Penrith, but only 60% of the people in old Penrith earn enough to afford their own home. Let’s build another 5000 homes above Penrith and fill them full of yuppies who can all afford their own homes. That means on average the number of people who can’t afford to buy their own home will have gone down by half to 30%. The problem of course is that it’s the same people who still can’t afford their own home but it looks like the problem has reduced hugely.

Not only are the figures incredible but they imply something that we don’t like.


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