Investigate if small villages can become suburbanised over time, and what factors will affect this. For this investigation, we have chosen to look at Pirbright, a small village just outside of surrey.

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GSCE Geography Coursework

Pirbright: A Village Study

Aim:   In this piece of coursework, my aim is to investigate if small villages can become suburbanised over time, and what factors will affect this. For this investigation, we have chosen to look at Pirbright, a small village just outside of surrey.

Hypothesis: Is Pirbright a Suburbanised Village?

To prove the hypothesis I will need to find out:

  • Where is Pirbright located?


  • What is it like?

  • How has it changed over the years?

  • What are the reasons?

  • What are the consequences of these changes for the long-term residents, the businesses and the new comers?

Methods Of Research:

In order to find answers to these questions and to prove the hypothesis I used various methods of research these will be:

Questionnaire - We made up our own questionnaires in groups of four. The reason we thought this would be a good idea was so that we could get opinions from people who have been living in Pirbright and learn more about these people. We surveyed 10 different people and we tried to ask various types of people such as pensioners, young students and adults. In order to do this we asked at different times of the day.


Walk To Investigate Services And Shops - We walked around Pirbright to investigate the different types of services they had to offer.

Walk To Investigate Land Use And Location - We also walked to and around Pirbright to investigate the uses of land and the layout of the village.

Environmental Quality Survey - This was a survey that had already been prepared for us. This helped us to decide whether or not the village was an attractive place to live. We completed the survey in different parts of the village.

Research – I will find out any other information from resources such as the Internet.

What is a Suburbanised Village?

A Suburbanised village is a village that people from nearby towns and cities have moved into, gradually changing the character of the village and making it more urbanised. A suburbanised village change its functions from being a rural agricultural village to being a suburb of a town. Suburbanised villages can sometimes also be called commuter settlements or dormitory towns, this is because the village is used by residents who live and stay there to travel to work in nearby towns or cities. Since the 1980’s people have been moving out of major cities such as London, -Reading and Guildford to get away from things such as crime, pollution and traffic congestion in cities. This is called counter urbanisation.

The characteristics of a suburbanised village are;

  • Housing becomes more expensive leaving local people not being able to afford them. We would expect to find new houses built for newcomers, as well as old farmhouses that have been modernised for rich city commuters.
  • The need for more houses and extra services is required to cater to the needs of the newer residents
  • There are more newcomers than original residents; this can cause social problems within the village.
  • Cars, noise and litter cause more pollution than before.
  • The village is expanded to house more residents.
  • More cars cause congestion.
  • The village is forced to change to become more modern; this can also result in it becoming damaged.
  • People move to rural villages that are commuting distance from their place of work, so a suburbanised village must have access to railway and motorway links.
  • Newcomers will shop in cities and out of town shopping centres, so we would not expect to find medium or high order shops.
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People move into villages for many different reasons, these are;

  • People find towns and cities to be polluted, unattractive and very congested.
  • Wealthy commuters can afford to buy bigger and more attractive houses in villages and since transport links have improved these people can still easily commute to work in the city.
  • Retired people prefer to enjoy they leisure time in a peaceful and quieter environment.
  • People find it to be safer in villages.
  • There are newer houses being built, these sell for cheaper than they do in cities and towns.


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