There have been extremely frustrating media reports in recent weeks about cheap residential property in Burnley – some of which was skewed and misrepresented our town beyond recognition.

All former industrial towns have areas that need improvement, but very few such towns present the wealth of opportunity that we see in Burnley. I genuinely believe that we have a residential offer that is a good as anything in the country – delivering a lifestyle that is practically unattainable elsewhere.

Much has been written about Burnley terraces recently – but my view of a poor value terraced house is one that calls itself a “mews cottage”, costs £1.4 million and is in Notting Hill. I’m sure national media will soon wake up to the fact that our area isn’t “cheap” – it’s affordable and it can deliver a lifestyle beyond the reach of our over-worked, over-stressed and over-charged city cousins!

A cursory look at a London property website reveals the stark truth that if you spend under £250,000 (i.e. the 3% stamp duty threshold), you’ll be lucky to get a flat on an estate in non-too-salubrious areas of east London such as Canning Town, Limehouse or Beckton.

For a comparison that is closer to home – have a look at Manchester prices. Coming in under £250,000 you’ll struggle to get anything reasonable in areas like Didsbury and Chorlton, although you can just about get decent two bedroom flats in modern city centre developments.

By comparison, within 5 miles of Burnley centre, £250,000 will buy you a modern 4 bedroom detached property, a fabulous 3 bedroom cottage in one of our many wonderful villages, or even a 3 bedroom barn conversion, set in scenery that our south-eastern and Mancunian counterparts can only dream of!

This year I’ve seen numerous business publications with positive news articles about Burnley. It’s made me feel proud that the town is looked upon as a centre of manufacturing excellence. The Bondholder network is making the case that Burnley is a place that makes things very, very well – a fact demonstrated by world leading businesses such as Aircelle, VEKA, AMS Neve and Moorhouse’s. We need to also make the case that Burnley is a great place to live.

Not only do we have fantastic and affordable property – we have spectacular countryside, we have wonderfully well-equipped new schools, we have 2 new university campuses, we have world-class heritage sites in Towneley Hall and Gawthorpe Hall, and we have the Clarets – Burnley FC!

The allure of Wilmslow and Alderley Edge may appeal to people relocating from London to the North West as Salford’s Media City swings into action. But we all know they’ll be missing a trick. With the Todmorden Curve reinstatement looking increasingly likely, Manchester will be a short commute from Burnley – a great place to do business and a wonderful place to live. Take a look for yourself http://www.yourvillagelife.co.uk/

Ian Bythell
Director – Petty Estate Agents