Four in 10 Brits say there is no sense of community spirit where they live, and that they don’t consider their neighbours to be good friends, a report shows.
The study of 2,000 people, commissioned by Lottoland, found over 56% had zero interest in getting to know their closest neighbour any better than they already do.
While quintessential Australian soap Neighbours taught us that good neighbours can become good friends, that’s only the case when neighbours actually talk to each other. The study found that the average adult knows the names of just five people in their street.
Over three quarters of respondents considered their neighbours to be acquaintances at best, while one in 10 said they saw their neighbours less than once a month.
However, one in four admitted to considering knocking on a neighbour’s door as a way to get to know them better.
The homebuilding industry has previously been criticised for not considering community growth. While more homes are being built to meet government targets, two-thirds of people believe community infrastructure is being left behind.
When infrastructure isn’t properly considered, a swathe of homes can be built without consideration for the extra resources required by homeowners, such as the extension of doctor’s surgeries to account for new residents.
Within the self build industry, Graven Hill is one of the influential sites transforming homebuilding by creating self build communities, which feature primary schools, community centres, shops and restaurants.
The advantages of being friendly with your neighbours are plentiful. “It’s not just about borrowing a drill or a cup of sugar when you’re running low on baking supplies,” said a spokesman for Lottoland. “Being on close terms with those who live nearby can make your home a safer place – it’s like having an extra pair of eyes watching the place when you can’t be there.
“Introducing yourself to neighbours may seem daunting, but can bring lots of positives. It’s a nice feeling to know you have an ally nearby – and if you have another neighbour that’s not so nice or makes too much noise, you can chat about ways to approach the situation.”