How to be a NIMBY

A CLOSE-knit community has clubbed together to pay £122,500 to keep a favourite beauty spot out of the hands of housing developers.

Fourteen residents joined forces to buy a 13-acre field at auction because they feared it would otherwise be built over.

Don\’t want land developed or built upon?

Get your chequebook out and buy it yourself.

My parents and their neighbours did the same when a local corner of a green and pleasant Bath came up for sale.

You want it, you pay for it, don\’t bend the law or insist upon the power of the State to do it for you.

7 comments on “How to be a NIMBY

  1. Hear, hear. While we’re at it, the taxpayer can pay for upkeep of listed buildings. An awful lot of them are owned as working buildings by charities, and so money which could be used for kissing animals and other good deeds is instead spent on building contractors getting the stonework just so. Stupid regulation.

  2. “don’t insist upon the power of the State to do it for you” Really? In my book, tax money at work means that the State exists to serve the taxpayers, not the other way round.

    You appear to argue that if your local park or area of natural beauty is threatened with development, but you’re not rich, you can just sod right off and get what your poverty deserves…

    But rich AND poor could prevent inappropriate development if the legitimate concerns of local taxpayers were not routinely ignored by councils and government in their quest to pour concrete over every bit of green left in the UK.

    There is indeed a story here but it’s about overpopulation, housing policy and democracy – not how cleverly the rich can avoid the crap that the less wealthy have to suffer.

  3. @PWaV

    One cannot seamlessly segue from privately held to publicly held land.

    Further, although the State exists to serve, seeing as we all have different opinions, the State should, by definition, do very little at all – only enable us to continue to live unmolested, in fact, not to operate as some kind of hired hand or agent under the sway of squeaky wheels, bullies, bribers, dribblers or spinners.

    It is a good idea not to confuse overpopulation with housing density. IF we are overpopulated AND we have a vast pool of untrained workers, then we need to ensure we do not subsidise procreation by any group, right?

    Finally, the flip side of your stance would mean that there is no real advantage for striving and succeeding. Socialist entropic heat death.

  4. @Roger
    The type of land ownership is immaterial in relation to inappropriate (housing) development – both public and private land are subject to planning laws.

    The right to live unmolested is actually a good definition of nimbyism as well as an idealised State – my point is that Labour introduced housing policies that subvert the rights of taxpayers in favour of housebuilders.

    I support the people in this story but it is wrong that they were forced to act out of fear (that their local objections to development would be ignored).

    Doesn’t it make more sense to address the unfairness implicit within Labour’s planning laws and housing policies than to scare people to buy up vast swathes of land they don’t actually need, just in case?

  5. But rich AND poor could prevent inappropriate development if the legitimate concerns of local taxpayers were not routinely ignored by councils and government in their quest to pour concrete over every bit of green left in the UK.

    IIRC, about 85%+ of all land in England is countryside. Taking the UK as a whole, especially including sparsely populated Scotland, the figure is over 90%. Where is this shortage of green fields you are talking about?

    We restrict building to inflate the house prices of the NIMBYs, undertax land ownership and grossly overtax productive effort. We are then amazed that the economy does badly, that productive business relocates abroad, and that our kids can’t get decent jobs or afford a house of their own. The solution is of course to shift taxation from income and consumption to land values, i.e. LVT.

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