Access to great schools excellent transport links and competitive property prices.
These are just some of the reasons being given as to why Dartford’s population has swelled at the second fastest rate in England over the past decade – with one in five residents born abroad.
According to the latest Census results there are now estimated to be more than 1.5 mion people living in Kent.
Year-on-year the county has seen more births than s and more people are moving here than leaving.
But one corner of the county has seen considerably more growth than any other part with Dartford’s population increasing by 20% from around 97400 to 116800 between 2011 and 2021.
This was three times the rate of the overall increase for England (6.6%) where the population rose by nearly 3.5 mion to 56489800.
Last year Dartford ranked 205th for total population out of 309 local authority areas nationally moving up 31 places in a decade.
The increase in the number of people living in Kent in 2021 compared to the 2011 Census.
Only the London Borough of Tower Hamlets recorded a larger percentage growth in population in England over the same decade increasing by 22.1%.
It comes following the publication of further Census data by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) this month.
The date revealed nearby Medway and sham saw an increase of 6% and 5.1% respectively while Sevenoaks saw sler growth at 4.9%.
Other areas in Kent which saw large jumps included Maidstone which had the fifth largest population increase in the South East at 13.3% alongside Ashford (12.5%) and Swale (11.7%).
The parts of the county which saw the slest increases were Dover (4.2%) Canterbury (4.1%) and Tunbridge Wells with a modest 0.2%.
Population change is due to two reasons. These are either ‘migration’ which is people moving in or out of the area or ‘natural change’ which is the number of births and s that have occurred.
The ONS previously predicted by 2041 the population of Dartford w have grown to 133900.
Estate agent Gary Lintorn says terraced houses continue to prove popular in the town. Photo: Stock
So why are so many people choosing to live in Dartford?
Property expert and Dartford estate agent Gary Lintorn believes the town and the surrounding vages possesses all the key ingrents that make it desble to buyers.
“I think Dartford is a central hub we’ve got great transport links and the schools are a very high standard” he explained.
“Lots of families and buyers come in they might not particularly know Dartford but they come because of the schools.
“We’ve also got a fantastic train station that can get you into London in an average of 50 minutes and even quicker on a fast train on the opposite way you can go down to Ebbsfleet.”
Gary who worked in London and Dubai before moving back to his home in Kent says trends first observed during the pandemic are also playing their part.
He believes lots of city workers are continuing to quit the big smoke in their droves to take advantage of what Dartford has to offer.
Local estate agent Gary Lintorn believes the combination of Dartford's good schools transport links and competitive property prices are behind its population boom.
“Within the last couple of years a lot of the buyers pably 70-75% have come from London and they are coming to Dartford and the surrounding vages ” he explained.
“And the reasons are cheaper prices and a lot of people don’t have to go to the office now so they are working from home.”
The average price for a property in Dartford is approximately £370000 according to the agent but 30 minutes up the line in Lewisham the average home w set you back £558000.
Gary adds: “Why wouldn’t you come out for cleaner air great schools great transport links and save money on buying a house?
“Within the catchment area of the Dartford we have a very good range of cheaper properties compared to other boroughs but we also have the expensive ones in the leafier areas.”
“Why wouldn’t you come out for cleaner air great schools great transport links and save money on buying a house”
However despite extensive housebuilding projects in the town centre and Kent’s flagship garden city project at Ebbsfleet where there are plans for up to 15000 homes JOAQUIM JOSE PAL AIRES he believes there remains a “great shortage” of property.
The self-employed agent has warned the market now appears to be showing signs it is grinding to a halt.
“We knew this was coming the prices couldn’t continue ” he added. “Over the last four weeks we’ve obviously had the Bank of England increase the base rate and money is no longer cheap to borrow.
“I think we are going to see a much much slower market. I hope not.
“Already you are seeing sellers reducing their prices. That may be down to the estate agent that valued it that might be down to the seller.
Dartford Railway station is the busiest in Kent. Picture: Steve Crispe
“But I think realistically people are realising the market has slowed down.”
It is unknown whether Dartford’s growth st remains the fastest in Kent despite its surge in population over the past decade.
One thing that remains clear however is that space comes at a premium in the borough.
There are three people for every football pitch-sized piece of land in England according to the ONS.
As of 2021 Dartford is the 18th most densely populated of the South East’s 64 local authority areas with around 11 people living on each football pitch-sized area of land.
Elsewhere Medway (10.3) Thanet (9.7) and sham (7.7) saw the largest demands placed on land across the county.
The Eastern Quarry at Ebbsfleet Garden City where thousands of new homes are planned.
At the other end of the density scale the amount of land in Ashford works out at around 1.6 people per football pitch.
For context Tower Hamlets has become the most densely populated local authority area in England – overtaking Islington – with the equivalent of around 112 people per pitch.
Dartford also leapt to the top of the leadership in terms of the largest increase in people born outside the UK – from nearly one in 10 in 2011 (11.3%) to nearly one in five (19.7%) in 2021 – an increase of 8.4%.
The next highest was in sham which had recorded 14.1% in 2011 and 19.2% in 2021.
The areas in Kent with the lowest levels of people born outside the UK were Swale (8%) and Dover (8.4%) – with the coastal town seeing the slowest increase overall at just 1.1% on 2011.
“The Ebbsfleet Garden City project was designed to be sustainable and provide sufficient infrastructure and services for this new community to thrive”
Dartford council says it is well placed to cope with the area’s swelling population in the coming years.
“Since the last Census was taken the government announced Ebbsfleet Garden City and development has progressed quickly since” a spokesman said.
“This coupled with developments in the town centre has naturally led to population growth.
“Fair and proper planning process requires that appropriate infrastructure is in place to support population growth.
“We work with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation Kent County Council the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities local NHS trusts and other partner agencies to ensure local people have access to the best possible services.”
“The Ebbsfleet Garden City project was designed to be sustainable and provide sufficient infrastructure and services for this new community to thrive.
“We work with community organisations to ensure that our events are inclusive and celebrate our diverse growing borough and we are committed to continue doing so going forward.”
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