Bollocks

If there’s one word in the English language that I’d like to get rid of, it’s nimby. The acronym – for “not in my back yard” – is often used by developers and politicians to deride local protesters who stand up to housebuilding. “Nimbys”, they claim, are self-interested, live in nice houses, in nice places and want to deny these privileges to newcomers. In my opinion, the word is a spectacular example of how language can stand reality on its head: developers are not champions of the people and those who oppose them are certainly not selfish.

Idiot. The definition of nimby is those who are selfishly preventing development for their own local and personal interests.

Those who are doing it – really, not just claiming – for larger reasons aren’t nimbys.

23 thoughts on “Bollocks”

  1. Off topic but dear God, Spud has gone full on hysterical on Covid today.

    “The UK is a dangerous experiment that is a threat to the rest of the world…

    the UK is choosing to be the outlier in its response to Covid now

    …We are literally threatening the well-being of the world right now.”

  2. The Meissen Bison

    I am a freedom-fighter, you are a terrorist; I am defending local interests, you are selfishly preventing development.

  3. People make no sense:
    They think their VILLAGE is nice, good people, probably some opportunities to do things they like.
    They don’t want moar VILLAGE.
    The same logic would extend to DUMPTOWN
    We don’t want DUMPTOWN demolishing – oh no, there’s a bit of brownfield on an inbetweeny bit in that place, we must insist on building there.
    So on we go – no building in nice places, some building in dump places.

  4. Most people protesting about development are NIMBYs, because its usually in their back yards. You don’t get people from Town A jumping up and down about proposed new developments in Town B 10 miles away do you?

    There are of course the professional protestors, or BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone) such as CPRE etc, who will protest about developments everywhere on principle, but the vast majority of local protestors will be NIMBYs, because it affects them personally.

  5. People, like developers for instance, do not use NIMBY as a pejorative because they are sticking to a definition endorsed by Tim. They use it like ‘denier’ or ‘racist’, for its pejorative effect.

    There are villages all over where estates of hundreds of houses are being built with no plan for extra facilities, shops, transport, employment, roads. It’s not unreasonable to object or ask for a bit of joined-up thinking.

  6. Near us there have been two huge new housing developments. Asked about new road capacity some years ago, the council said it wouldn’t be needed because everyone would cycle everywhere.

  7. What i think this person is saying is that they really oppose all development. i.e. not in anyone’s back yard, so don’t call me NIMBY. But though NIABYs may theoretically exist it takes effort to oppose things, and the odd swampy aside, there’s an obvious correlation in the level of opposition effort and the proximity to your back yard. Hence the word pops into existence and NIABY hasn’t caught on.

  8. Gentrification is another loaded word. I struggle to see any negative component of it.

    A town up the road from here, closer to the university, gentrified itself. Part of the gentrified thinking was to have lots of cuddly immigrants. Place quickly became a shithole, with most of the gentrifiers now dispersing elsewhere. Regular tram service, though.

    Fortunately my town has largely resisted the Guadianistas and the massed immigrants so it’s still an OK place (with no tram).
    .

    The definition of nimby is those who are selfishly preventing development for their own local and personal interests.

    And nothing wrong with that. Brexit was a nimby vote, and the desire for lions along the Kent coast is nimby. This is our place and we like it how it is. We’re selfishly preventing “development” for our own local and personal interests. Now, fuck off.

  9. I don’t see anyone else preventing the permanent destruction of nature in my own backyard (i.e. the countryside around my village) so I and others like me will have to try to stop that development. I’d rather have trees and fields rather than colonies of shitty little houses with fake vernacular facades and mimsy little names that some marketing fool thinks has a link to what was there before.

    Presumably some people think that the remaining countryside in the UK should be suburbanised, and that the south-east should be like some gigantic Singapore. If they do, my guess is that they think that way because they can directly or indirectly make a buck out of destroying what is beautiful and irreplaceable, or because they are mentally ill. We should protect ourselves from such people.

  10. Presumably some people think that the remaining countryside in the UK should be suburbanised, and that the south-east should be like some gigantic Singapore. If they do, my guess is that they think that way because they can directly or indirectly make a buck out of destroying what is beautiful and irreplaceable, or because they are mentally ill.

    Or they’re ideologues living in Portugal.

  11. In my town there was an area laid out for development in the 1970s, over time 3/4 of it has been developed. The remaining 1/4 is still there with the access roads stubbing up to it, with sewers and power ready to be laid on. A nice edge-of-town space with views over the valley. Instead of using it developers have been pushing to get agricultural land reclassified, miles from the exisiting services, needing complete new ground-up infrstructure, and have been sprawling across that.

  12. “. I’d rather have trees and fields rather than colonies of shitty little houses with fake vernacular facades and mimsy little names that some marketing fool thinks has a link to what was there before.”

    The obvious question that springs to mind is whether the house you live in itself replaced some of the trees and fields you so value?

  13. Yes Jim but the new houses have a tendency to the flash but nasty. And they are crammed in even when built on green fields. In places where the link between demand and location is difficult to discern.

  14. It is clear that the whole housing market and planning system is irretrievably broken

    Developers have to game it because they never know on what basis their applications will be tossed out

    So they land bank like crazy and pursue multiple projects hoping that they don’t all go through simultaneously, while managing cash flow, shortages of skilled labour (‘cos everyone goes to uni to study worthless degrees ready for their life on benefits or in mediocre public service jobs) and arbitrary changes in planning or financial policy that wreck their carefully designed business cases

    Local residents have no choice but to object as huge identikit estates are dropped in the middle of nowhere without supporting infrastructure

    House buyers have to accept what’s available, not what they want because the market is distorted by planning decisions, investment buyers, cheap credit and Byzantine planning decisions

    To be frank we’d do better with coin tossing

  15. Wasn’t the main characteristic of NIMBYs that they demand something to be built/developed, but start squeaking once that thing is planned in their Nice Neighbourhood?

    Y’know.. like wanting, no demanding Green Power “for the environment”, as long as they don’t build those ghastly bird-choppers where they can see them..
    Or seamless and flawless mobile connections, but not those terrifying and health-damaging 4G/5G transmitters in sight?
    Or….

  16. Jim:

    “The obvious question that springs to mind is whether the house you live in itself replaced some of the trees and fields you so value?”

    No, it replaced others that I would have valued, were it back in the 17th century. I would have valued them less, though, because they weren’t as scarce. When we cram in a few million more houses for a few million more immigrants and profiteering jerry-builders, I think you’ll find that more people will value them. But by then it will be too late.

  17. “Presumably some people think that the remaining countryside in the UK should be suburbanised, and that the south-east should be like some gigantic Singapore.”
    I don’t think that but in 2001,2005, 2010 we voted for parties that wanted mass immigration and now we need mass house building.

  18. @dearieme – maybe they know the residents will all be cycling because planning permission ensured that the new housing has no garages, off road parking, or space for on-road parking.

  19. “Presumably some people think that the remaining countryside in the UK should be suburbanised, and that the south-east should be like some gigantic Singapore.”

    A total of 4% of the UK is built upon. All the houses, schools factories, roads and everything else, adds up to 4%. No-one is talking about concreting over the whole country, and your pretended concern for the environment doesn’t mask that you’re the epitome of a selfish NIMBY.

  20. That 4% would be fine if it was the whole country. As it is huge chunks of the country are off-limits to development so that 4% gets squeezed into a significantly smaller actual area.

    My town is surrounded by a national park. They can’t build in the park, so they cram everything into the remaining space between the town and the park boundary so we get a large lump of highly-urban with a drastic drop off to empty, instead of something more spread out and more representative of that “4%”.

    Some figures: Our local national park: 554sqmi + 23,380 people, the town: 3sqmi 13,000 people. So that’s 65 people per square mile? Or 4,333 people per square mile?

  21. . . . you’re the epitome of a selfish NIMBY.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Land owners, developers, bureaucrats, and politicians use and abuse the system for their own selfish interests. There is no rule of the universe that says those impacted by their activities should just sit there and take it on the chin. They can also use and abuse the system for their own selfish interests.

    Remainers and open-borders freaks also think those standing in their way are selfish nimbys. They’re right, and can fuck right off.

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