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This is what NIMBYs think of the housing shortage

PUBLISHED: 10:36 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:04 15 November 2017

Queen's Hills housing development, Costessey, as a new survey suggests people who are against development in their own area are also frustrated about the housing shortage. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Queen's Hills housing development, Costessey, as a new survey suggests people who are against development in their own area are also frustrated about the housing shortage. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Research by a house building group has revealed "wholly ironic" views among anti-development protesters.

Two thirds of NIMBYs who object to new development in their area are simultaneously frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy their own home, new research has revealed.

The survey into NIMBYs (‘not in my back yard’), or people who tend to take an anti-development view to new homes being built near their own, was commissioned by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and revealed a “wholly ironic” clashes in their ideologies.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said the “disproportionate power of the NIMBY brigade” had been responsible for stalling house building in the UK, leading to today’s chronic shortage of new homes.

The survey’s key finding were:

• Nearly two thirds (60%) of home owners who are concerned about new houses or flats being built in their community also admit to feeling frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy a property in the local area.

• One third of UK home owners are concerned about houses or flats being built in their community having a negative impact on where they live.

• Half (49%) of people feel frustrated their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren cannot afford to buy a property in the same area as them.

• Home owners in the London are most likely to take an anti-development approach to new homes being built in their community yet are also more likely to bemoan the inability of the next generation to buy a property nearby.

• More than one third of home owners (34%) in England are NIMBYs, the highest percentage of any UK country.

Home owner Susan Marshall, 53, told the FMB she was concerned about over-development in her area.

“I understand that the future generations will need to have somewhere to live. Yet, I am concerned about whether our existing infrastructure framework will be able to cope if we simply build more and more homes,” she said.

But Mr Berry responded that “emboldened NIMBY groups” had used social media and online petitions to “put themselves forward as spokespeople for their communities – regardless of how few people they might represent”.

“We need to accept that if we want to make housing affordable for the next generation, we need to be more positive about new homes being built in our area,” he said.

“This new research suggests that too many people want contradictory things and we hope it will be helpful in reminding people that they can’t have it both ways.”

The survey was carried out by the research company OnePoll and is based on responses from 2,000 home owners across the UK.

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