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Councillor Davod Harrison

It Takes Courage To Face Up To The NIMBY Brigade

New Homes
New Homes

I attended a very interesting session this week on rural housing.

Across the country there a few really good examples of some small scale rural housing developments.

The important elements of them is that they are often built to house young people with local family connections who would otherwise be forced to move away from the villages they grew up in.

Another aspect is true “affordability.”

I learned quite a bit, listening to other Councillors who were positive about delivering a scheme in their community, often in the face of aggressive opposition from some local people who don’t want such developments anywhere near where they live.

It seems people like the idea of providing affordable housing units for younger people, but they aren’t prepared to accept anything near to where they live.

They give all sorts of reasons why but the presenters told us that the real many reason is that “they think it will have a negative impact on their house price”.

All of the speakers, gave examples of some really unpleasant behaviour from some of the locals, becoming personally abusive, starting up campaigns with mis-information about who would live in the properties and shouting / disrupting public meetings.

Most people who decide to become Parish Councillors do so for good, wholesome, reasons, wanting to do the best for the community.

However, some simply see their role as a way of opposing any new development that they think threatens their ideal rural lifestyle… A kind of “I am alright Jack” approach.

Sometimes schemes are progressed without the support of the local Council!

I found myself strongly applauding those who were strong enough and unselfish enough to face up to the Nimby brigade and deliver a chance for local young people to get on the housing ladder.

In just about every case where the schemes have been built there were no problems afterwards and no discernible negative impact on house prices….


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