Meads is home to the country’s most elderly

Eastbourne - Denton Road, Gaudick Road and Meads Road
Eastbourne - Denton Road, Gaudick Road and Meads Road

Meads has been named the oldest neighbourhood in the country with the average resident over the age of 70.

The Office for National Statistics survey looked at 33,000 neighbourhoods across the UK with an average number of 1,600 residents.

Its calculations are based on the 2011 census but have been updated to give estimates for the middle of last year.

Eastbourne has long been known for its aging population – a reputation locals have tried hard to shake off. However, this latest research appears to show the majority of people in Meads are retired.

Roy Peacock, chairman of the Meads Neighbourhood Panel, is himself 75, retired and living in a flat in Meads.

He said, “It is the better end of town and popular with those who are, in later life, able financially to support a home in the area.”

But he added, “There are around 350 university students living in Welkin halls of residence - whether or not they are included in this study? I would expect that would bring the average age down.”

Mr Peacock also explained the area was very popular with young families keen to send their children to Meads’ many popular independent schools.

Dennis Scard, chairman of the Meads Community Association, said the news didn’t surprise him due to the amount of large houses which have now been converted in to nursing homes. However, he explained it may not be a completely accurate picture.

He said, “Meads is a very big ward, stretching from the top end of Terminus Road all the way up to Beachy Head.

“It certainly has more than 1,600 people living in the ward. I think they are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. They seem to be looking at Upper Meads.”

Mr Scard said the village had a thriving group called Mothers of Meads Association and added, “Its members are certainly not in their 70s.”