Image by Amy Gatenby


Client: Northumberland National Park Authority


Northumberland National Park is the northernmost national park in England, covering approximately 1,049 km in the unitary authority of Northumberland. With a population of 2,016 (in 2014), it is the least populous national park in the UK.

The Northumberland National Park Authority were required to formulate their draft Local Plan, detailing housing demand, land supply and housing targets for the Park over an extended plan period. Evidence for the Local Plan was compiled from a variety of sources, including demographic estimates and projections, workforce data, household income and house price, housing land supply, housing stock and affordable need estimates.


Using historical evidence from published ONS and DCLG demographic statistics, scenarios were developed using POPGROUP technology configured for the area of that is covered by the Northumberland National Park. Demographic statistics for the National Park were derived from unitary authority, ward-level, and Census Output Area statistics.

The latest 2014-based sub-national population projection (SNPP) from ONS was considered, plus alternative trend-based scenarios that derived their assumptions from the latest statistics on demographic change.

The projections included a ‘dwelling growth’ scenario, in which population growth is determined by the growth in the number of dwellings, linked to historical housing completions, for example, at a rate of +5 dwellings per year. A ‘natural change’ scenario was also included, which evaluated population growth in the absence of migration (i.e. just births and deaths).