The town of Marlborough is 'facing a housing crisis' as people claim they are being forced out of the area due to sky-rocketing house prices and rents.

As it is revealed that living in the town can be £300 a month more expensive to rent than Devizes, and with the average house price twice above the national average, the impacts of these changes are being felt by those having lived in the town for generations.

"I've been trying to buy my council house in Marlborough for the last 26 years, but they won't sell it to me because as soon as somebody dies houses are put on the market and sold within weeks," said resident Gabriel Burns.

"Owning a house in Marlborough feels impossible for most people."

The previous mayor of Marlborough councillor Mark Cooper, whose father was also mayor, said it has become increasingly impossible for many people to buy property, and even rental costs were often too high for local families and young people.

He called on the town's council to declare a housing emergency at a meeting on Monday, November 6.

“Without the support of my parents there is absolutely no way I would have been able to stay in the town that my family have been in for generations,” he said.

Swindon Advertiser: Marlborough, like all towns, is rapidly expanding. But many locals say young people are being pushed out.Marlborough, like all towns, is rapidly expanding. But many locals say young people are being pushed out. (Image: Tom Ellis)

“It’s really important that those Marlburians, who have family links to this town, who’ve been to school in this town, who care about this town, who want to stay in this town, have the opportunity to do just that,” Coun Cooper added.

"We need to declare a housing emergency now."

Marlborough rent has skyrocketed in recent years, with rent for a three-bedroom terraced house in the town costing anywhere between £1,350 and £1,600 a month, according to RightMove.

This is approximately £300 a month more than in the nearby town of Devizes.

In terms of buying houses, the average house price in Marlborough according to RightMove is currently £498,329, twice the national average and a four per cent rise since 2019.

And prices are only expected to keep going up, as estate agent Savills predict a 17.9 per cent increase in UK house prices by 2028.

But this is not the first time that the affordability of housing in Marlborough has been raised.

In 2017, a housing consultation which took place in the town found that housing and commuting costs were huge factors behind the shrinkage of the working-age population.

The consultation also found residents did not want to see more retirement housing in the area.


Swindon Advertiser: Marlborough house prices sit well above the average in England.Marlborough house prices sit well above the average in England. (Image: Which)

In the council meeting this month, Marlborough councillors agreed it was a shame people with local connections often lose out to others from out of the area due to greater need or different criteria with social housing association allocation.

Since a change to the law in 2015, it is much easier for housing associations to sell off stock that can’t easily be upgraded to meet environmental and efficiency criteria.

There is also no legal obligation for housing associations to replace social housing if it is sold off.

But not every social housing provider has the same policy, and White Horse Housing Association has been praised by councillors for adding weighting to people who have lived or worked in the area for 16 years.

"Tenancies will be offered to those in greatest need, bearing in mind that the Association must make the most allocations to applicants with a local connection to the Parish in which the property is located," said a spokesperson.

"This makes the most efficient use of housing stock and achieves stable communities and sustainable tenancies."