Bad housing design 'makes being a Nimby reasonable'

A claim that 'low-quality housing schemes make it quite reasonable to be a Nimby' features in today's newspaper round-up.

A letter to the Telegraph from Ben Bolgar, senior director at The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, says "the general quality of new development over the last 70 years has been appalling and hardly inspires confidence". He adds: "At present it is therefore perfectly reasonable for the default setting to be a Nimby until and unless a land owner and their chosen developer can prove to local communities that the quality of any proposed scheme will not be diluted after planning is granted."

The Guardian reports that housebuilding "surged in September, smashing City expectations and lifting the construction industry out of an EU referendum-induced slump." The paper says that the "civil engineering sector also grew last month and helped push the Markit/Cips UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) to 52.3, up from 49.2 in August and the first increase in activity since March."

A comment piece in the Guardian says that it’s "easy to blame foreign investors" but the UK’s housing crisis "was created by Britain’s politicians". David Madden, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics, writes: "Focusing on overseas investors allows British policymakers to obscure their own role in producing the housing crisis. Over the decades, politicians at all levels of government have played an active part in creating this situation."

The Telegraph reports that energy firm IGas Energy’s "plans to open a new UK shale gas exploration frontier in the East Midlands are facing the threat of a legal challenge from a local wildlife trust, which fears the noise will disturb long-eared owls nesting nearby." The paper says that Nottinghamshire county council is due to vote today "on the fracking firm’s plans to drill two wells at a site in Misson Springs". But the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust "has warned that, if permission is granted, it will consider bringing legal action against IGas to try to block the drilling", the paper adds.

An article in the Guardian’s Society section looks at a council’s use of mobile homes to accommodate its homeless population. The piece says that in Chelmsford, Essex, "the council is preparing to purchase and assemble 40 ‘modular’ homes – specialist one and two-bed static caravan-style units to try to shrink a temporary accommodation bill heading for at least £1m this financial year."

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