Poscode / Sector characteristics

I'm looking for some real broad attributes for postcodes U.K, Like Urban/Suburban/Rural/Industrial for example 

Is there any standard definition (other than population density etc, want to steer clear of that) 


There is a classification of

There is a classification of local authorities, wards, cenus output areas and census super output areas.  As it was developed by DEFRA, finer distinctions are drawn at the rual end of the spectrum than at the urban. 

See http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/products/area-classifications/rural-urban-definition-and-la/rural-urban-local-authority--la--classification--england-/index.html

and http://archive.defra.gov.uk/evidence/statistics/rural/rural-definition.htm#defn

Some postcodes cross local authority (and even national!) boundaries, so taking the characteristics of the ward etc  which the postcode falls gets messy. 

There is a different classification for Scotland and (I suspect) for Northern Ireland (not sure about Wales).  This is annoying for users, but I suppose the geography of Scotland is so different to that of England that the user requirement within government (presumably the initial driver) may well be different.

I think there are issues around working at a very fine geographical level, as apparently similar characteristics at postcode level could be found within a small town or a metropolis.  Generally speaking, what surrounds the area is probably as important as the characteristics of the area itself.  Accessibility to a range of facilities on foot or by other forms of transport could also be relevant.

Years ago there was a classification which looked at contiguous built up areas.  This had some interesting features.  London, for example, turned into a monster with tentacles reaching out to Woking, Ware and so on, simply because housing development had followed rivers or railway lines.  I can remember using the centroids of the 21 addresses (or rather their postcodes) selected for a survey in a ward to allocate the ward to a type of area.  This was so long ago that it was in the days of urban and rural district councils, with the urban district sometimes forming the hole in the rural doughnut.  My method put one or two very rural wards bang in the middle of the urban district (though of course I did not leave them there).  Ah, nostalgia - not what it used to be!

Hope this is useful.

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