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Byline: Catherine Lillington

A LEAFY corner of the Midlands has been named among the country's most desirable places to live.

Wychavon in Worcestershire was ranked sixth in a study measuring quality of life by factors including job opportunities, housing, the environment, education and health.

The area is made up of three main towns - Droitwich Spa, Evesham and Pershore - and surrounding countryside.

It scored particularly well in terms of house sizes, boasting the biggest homes in the study with an average of 7.4 habitable habitable adj. referring to a residence that is safe and can be occupied in reasonable comfort. Although standards vary by region, the premises should be closed in against the weather, provide running water, access to decent toilets and bathing facilities, heating,  rooms.

But Wychavon was the only part of the Midlands to make the top 50 - and nowhere in the North of England, Scotland or Wales made the list.

The top spot was taken by the district of Hart, in the north-east corner of Hampshire.

Economist Martin Ellis Martin Ellis is an Australian rules football field umpire in the Australian Football League. He has umpired 203 career games in the AFL. [1] [2] Footnotes

1. ^ At the completion of Week 1 of the finals for the 2006 AFL season.
, of Halifax - which released the figures - said: "Residents of Hart in Hampshire enjoy the best quality of life in the UK.

"They benefit from a combination of above-average weekly earnings, a low crime rate and good health amongst other factors.

"On the other hand, average house prices in the area are amongst the highest relative to local earnings, highlighting that a high standard of living often comes at a price."

The highest weekly earnings were shown to be in Kensington and Chelsea Kensington and Chelsea, inner borough (1991 pop. 127,600) of Greater London, SE England. Kensington is largely residential with fashionable shopping streets and several luxurious hotels. Portobello Road is a well-known street market. , averaging pounds 1,521, followed by the City of London at pounds 1,239 and Westminster at pounds 1,141.

But Kensington and Chelsea also had the most unaffordable un·af·ford·a·ble  
Too expensive: medical care that has become unaffordable for many.

 homes with the highest average house price to earnings ratio. Typical prices stood at 12.2 times that of local yearly earnings.

The Isle of Wight Noun 1. Isle of Wight - an isle and county of southern England in the English Channel

county - (United Kingdom) a region created by territorial division for the purpose of local government; "the county has a population of 12,345 people"
 was the sunniest place, enjoying 37.4 hours of sunshine a week, against a national average of 29.7 hours.

Despite a no-show in the top 50 ranking, the North, Scotland and Wales fared well in terms of housing affordability.

Pendle in Lancashire had the lowest house price-to-earnings ratio at 3.5, followed by North Ayrshire in Scotland and Blaenau Gwent in Wales at 3.6. The Western Isles enjoyed the lowest burglary rates.

What do you think of Wychavon? And is where you live better? Email
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 27, 2011
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