Advanced search

To think that people who object to planning applications for new homes are selfish

(295 Posts)
LauderSyme Sun 15-Jan-17 19:37:27

My aim is not to be goady or induce a bunfight (though I well understand some of you might think that), but rather to try to understand a different point of view without judging it.
I live in a generally well-heeled and very "civilised" area; most of the properties are immaculately kept, many are sizable with large gardens, the public realm is well-maintained and crime rates are relatively low. It is amongst the top retirement hotspots in the UK. It is a lovely place to live and I appreciate our quality of life.
I am a tenant who has never owned a property. I work full-time but have a low household income, partly due to being a single parent. My flat is one of the ahem less desirable properties in my area. I would dearly like to have a secure home and a garden for my dc, but the only way I am likely to achieve this is if I am lucky enough to inherit.
The exorbitant cost of housing is mainly driven by an acute shortage of stock. Developers frequently put forward planning applications to build new homes in my area, but without fail, residents form protest groups to fight the proposals tooth and nail. Many applications are ultimately refused or watered down due to local opposition.
AIBU to think that this is selfish? Most of the protesters are fortunate enough to own their own home in a nice area, and it seems that they wish to deny this privilege to other people. Do they just not care that other people's lives are blighted by the housing crisis, as long as they are not inconvenienced? I feel that they are motivated purely by self-interest; does anyone have any other convincing arguments?

throwingpebbles Sun 15-Jan-17 19:43:21

I sit on the fence here.

I get what you are saying but the developers who are putting in the applications are largely motivated by profit. It is rare to see a developer who really makes an effort to build houses that are good to live in and aestheticly pleasing - they are usually built as cheaply as possible and local authority planners have to push for any landscaping etc

Also I think that the housing crisis is driven at least as much by the banks as it is by NIMBYS. The escalation of prices as least in part driven by their willingness to lend more and more.

I get your wish for more housing, but this does have to be in sensible places. My village is about to be choked by development - one road in and out and it is normally queuing traffic already to the point paramedics say they dread getting critical calls there

But I think there is some truth in what you are saying too, and NIMBYS do need to take a long hard look at themselves and their locality before automatically objecting

specialsubject Sun 15-Jan-17 19:43:24

yes, it is terribly selfish not to want your home flooded because of over-development uphill, not to want your road made dangerous because of blocked sightlines, or (for a big estate development) not to want the local schools, GPs and roads even more overloaded.

while many existing properties in reach of facilities lie empty or half ruined because the tax structure means it is cheaper to throw up tatty tiny new builds than to refurb decent older homes.

the housing shortage is due to a huge population increase too. We need to get every EXISTING house inhabited. Buy to leave?

EggnogChai Sun 15-Jan-17 19:45:07

I used to work on the front desk at the planning office and without a doubt whenever there was a new housing development there would be wades of people coming in saying the same phrase:

I know people need somewhere to live but..

And I would just leave an awkward silence in the air, tell them it's in the councils interest for houses to be built due to the housing crisis and hand them a form.


SortAllTheThings Sun 15-Jan-17 19:45:33

Well, in my area lots of the proposed housing is on greenbelt land.

Another development is in an area that is already very densely populated and infrastructure is really struggling.

Another local one is a third proposed development of a few hundred houses tacked onto a small village.

People aren't objecting to new houses as such. There's been a massive massive development go up recently that's virtually doubled the size of the town it's attached to, but the demand was there, the infrastructure could handle the increased local population, and they did a lot of work with the local roads to make it work.

There are other ones where it's frankly a fucking stupid idea. I do wonder how on earth some of them ever get agreed.

minionsrule Sun 15-Jan-17 19:46:12

I live in a similar type of area OP, there have been lots of new estates built here over the years. Whilst I would never object (I don't think I could muster the enthusiasm) there are often various reasons wny people object, not just because they don't want to 'spoil the view'.
The problem around here is that developers come and build large estates (not even affordable for young families) but don't consider the affect on the area, ie shortage of school places, pressure on NHS facilities, additional traffic on increasing deteriorating roads. One housing estate in particular was built with a promise that they would build an additional primary school to take the large volume of children moving into the area - guess what, they didn't. DS's primary has had to double in size to become double intake to cope with the ever increasing population in this area.
So whilst I sympathise with you I really do, look to the property developers who throw up the houses, make the money then move on without a thought for the impact on the area

throwingpebbles Sun 15-Jan-17 19:46:57

Also is there a reason why you have to live in that area? My dad was always pretty clear to me that very few people start by buying their first house in their dream area; you buy somewhere less than ideal and slowly move up (if you are lucky!).

( My house is in the part of the village the well heeled turn up their noses at!)

CherryChasingDotMuncher Sun 15-Jan-17 19:47:43

YANBU, i strongly suspect there's a great deal of snobbery that comes with this. People in naice villages, who probably inherited their parents house which originally cost £12k, hear 'affordable housing' and object. At least they do round here! I believe new housing estates that build over a certain amount need to allocate some to social housing.

BTW we bought a year ago in one of the naice villages and new houses are being built at the other end of the village. About 20 homes. We've been canvassed about objecting (some waffle about overcrowding with large families) but TBH i welcome a bigger community. The more the merrier and all that jazz!

throwingpebbles Sun 15-Jan-17 19:49:55

And yes, around here all the objections are very valid ones because schools and road infrastructure are way beyond breaking point. No one is objecting based on view etc; the developments are all going up next to precisely the kind of estates where people live and can only dream of owning.

KateDaniels2 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:50:56

We have had 5 new estates go up in our area in the last five years.

Amenities in the area havebt gone up with it. I have gone from eaiting a fay to see s doctor to 10 days. Kids cant get into schools and some are travelling miles.

The area is struggling. Taffic in the village is always bad and can take 45 mins to an hour to go 3 miles to school for ds.

I have also lived in a house (years ago) that flooded. In part because of new housing developments.

HelenaGWells Sun 15-Jan-17 19:51:11

Often the objections are very sensible and are things like:
traffic is already awful and further development would increase traffic and increase accidents.
local services like schools, doctors and dentists are already full to the brim and wouldnt cope.
I can't see how this are unreasonable?

I would also like to see more focus on sorting out old houses that are no longer habitable. Get rid of some of the buildings that aren't used anymore and build there. Replace the eyesores rather than reduce the greenary.

throwingpebbles Sun 15-Jan-17 19:51:29

(Agree I do despair of people who are clearly being straightforward NIMBYs though. And it's fair to agree they do have more clout to stop development -
More able to hire their own planning consultants for instance)

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 15-Jan-17 19:51:55

They ar building something like 5000 new homes in my village over the next three years.

It already takes a fortnight to get an appointment at the doctors
The two existing dentists are closed to new patients
There is only space at the local Catholic school: two primary schools and the high street are on the same road which is also the same road as the train station, even an extra 200 cars on the road at the same time will make an already difficult situation untenable. Our high street is Medieval and simply can't cope with more traffic.

And YET I would ignore all this if the housing that was being built was affordable - it's not. It's hideous 5 bed executive villas, with the councils 20% affordable quota being met by flimsy 2 bed flats in the corner of each estate.

I don't think I'm selfish. I think lining the pockets of developers won't solve your problem and it will make life in my (now surely former) village very unpleasant.

Abraiid2 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:52:25

Some villages near me, with 200 people in them, have been told that 400 new homes are going to be built. That's more than tripling their population.

Some ancient views, views that people come from all around the world to see, are being destroyed. We are destroying open spaces that our grandchildren should inherit. Once the countryside has gone, that is that, for ever.

I will probably be dead by the time our local town and the next town along triple in size so it won't impact on me to the full extent. But I feel such sadness that the countryside will be gone. Greedy developers here have jumped on the inefficiency of the local authorities to profit.

And I feel deep sorrow that further species extinctions are going to happen.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 15-Jan-17 19:53:51

we have a 2500 build going on near us, there is no supporting infrastructure, shops, GPs, schools etc will be overwhelmed by the influx of people.

The houses are still outside of the price range for anyone that can't supply a £15000 deposit, (one bed flat). I haven't looked at what the top end prices are.
They are poky little shit boxes that are poorly built with little or no garden.

This also reflects the other 3x 1000 or so builds that are going on in my area.

The shops, doctors, dentist, play area, and primary school that where on the plans have disappeared. the council has done nothing to stop the money grabbing developers deviating from the plans.

And FYI, I rent.

Abraiid2 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:54:45

And what really hacks me off is the number of empty family houses in my village. I know it isn't the complet solution, but it would help. One feuding divorced couple have left two houses and a building site for a third empty for eight years. It makes no sense. Another very large family house is owned by a lady with grown-up children who uses it about once a month.

Blackfellpony Sun 15-Jan-17 19:55:14

Possibly an unpopular opinion but if you've paid a premium for a rural property I can understand the frustration of having lots of houses built around you. I for one would like as few neighbours as possible grin
More houses bring more traffic, possibly problems with neighbours, noise, oversubscription of schools and doctors etc. Not to mention the fact we are building on every bit of green available and destroying habitat for wildlife which is a massive shame!

LumelaMme Sun 15-Jan-17 19:56:05

The people who stun me are the ones who are vigorous Remainers, but object to the building of houses to provide homes for the population, which is increasingly in considerable part because of EU immigration.

No, before anyone starts, I'm not a xenophobe. I just think we need to think hard about what level of population we actually want on a finite and already quite crowded island. That is the conversation that needs to be had. And if we decide, as a nation, that we want freedom of movement, we need to suck it up and build build build.

Weatherforecaster Sun 15-Jan-17 19:56:10

Depends where in the country you live. There certainly isn't a housing crisis where I live. They are building 300 new houses which I am objecting too as they are not needed. There are houses for sale eery where in the town. Nothing sells quick. Many properties are empty. The local doctors won't cope, neither will any of the other local services.

OhhBetty Sun 15-Jan-17 19:58:00

Yanbu at all op! We desperately need more houses where I am too. I bought this house with my ex last year but obviously the relationship didn't work out and I'm now a single mum and we'll have to sell the house. I'm 26 but will probably never afford to own a house again. I'm terrified about where my son and I will live. There just aren't enough houses and ones that are up for rent won't take housing benefit. I work but part time as full time would leave me with 2 pounds an hour after nursery fees. As it stands I will probably have to find a job near my dads house and live there with my son until a property is available for rent.
The people opposing the new builds always say how terrible it is that there aren't enough homes and that more should be long as it isn't in their town.

BonnesVacances Sun 15-Jan-17 19:58:32

This is happening near me atm. There's a new development proposed. The habitants of the existing new development across the road are in uproar about it. Apparently the wait for a GP appointment is already too long and there is already a shortage of primary school places.

It seems that they feel their energy is better spent on fighting the development instead of asking the local council/ MP what can be done to ease the pressure on GPs and school places.

Presumably when the developers get their application turned down they will all go back to their new builds and cease to care about the other issues.

The hypocrisy is embarrassing.

SoberSusan Sun 15-Jan-17 19:58:43

YABU. Developers (often foreign owned companies) wish to make money and have little or no stake in the community: they want to make a fast buck. They don't care about the impact on local communities.
Of course local people have the right to object if, for e.g., they feel their area (or the value of their homes) will be changed for the worse, there will be overdevelopment, important amenity space will be sacrificed or there are environmental concerns They are the people who have to live there.

Your desire to own your own house does not trump everyone else's rights.

Christinedaae17 Sun 15-Jan-17 19:58:50

Agree with PP depends where you live. I live in South west scotland and no housing crisis here yet they continue to chuck houses up all over.

I live in a small village and Dread them starting here next, I chose to live in a quiet village for a reason not a town and I realise that makes me selfish but I prefer being able to live without being on top of each other and looking out of my window at vast countrysides

LumelaMme Sun 15-Jan-17 19:59:06

Some ancient views, views that people come from all around the world to see, are being destroyed. We are destroying open spaces that our grandchildren should inherit. Once the countryside has gone, that is that, for ever.

Not to mention the fact we are building on every bit of green available and destroying habitat for wildlife which is a massive shame!

Two posts that appeared while I was typing. Clearly I'm not the only one to be terminally fucked off with our willingness to bury the country under concrete. Food security? Water supply? We HAVE to think about this, before we shaft the following generations.

WhoisthisHans Sun 15-Jan-17 19:59:34

I'm sorry but I think some of these objections based around the impact on traffic and local amenities really need to google the community infrastructure levy and s106 agreements. Developers don't just get planning permission and build without any consequences. They pay per square metre to the local authorities to provide for extra police or NHS or school provision or whatever the authority thinks is required in those circumstances. Big developments will have further contributions to highways development, public transport provision etc etc.
Usually with all planning applications there are associated CIL analyses, and when they're given planning permissions any agreed s106 agreements are public documents and can be downloaded online. It's amazing what developers agree to, especially in London!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: