Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What motivates nimbyism? Who benefits from land-use classification?

The East Devon Watch blog has just posted this alarm call from the Community Voice on Planning group:


4 NOV 2015

From Community Voice on Planning:

“We have just been notified that Persimmon have been advertising a site in Kingswood without submitting a planning application, while this might not be illegal it is definitely immoral see the link below:
Members of the Keep Kingswood a Village action group (41259061)
Developers slammed by Kingswood residents after promoting "homes for sale" on their website before submitting a planning application (From Gazette Series)

We believe that this may not be an isolated incident and would advise you to check all developer websites for advertising about your area. If you find anything please let us know but also contact the advertising standards and complain.”

Julie, Community Voice on Planning

Developer? Planning permission? No worries! | East Devon Watch
Community Voice on Planning | A National Alliance to provide communities with an effective voice on planning, enabling them to protect their greenfield and green spaces.

Persimmon have built on AONB land within the building line of Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Persimmon, Sidmouth and "promoting well-designed housing that is sustainable and provides much-needed new housing..."

There have been questions about the effect of building on meadow-land at the top of the town:
Futures Forum: Urban runoff and flooding in Sidmouth... Relying on 'Victorian plumbing' or building on soakaways...

Persimmon own much of the western slopes in the AONB area adjoining Sidmouth:
Futures Forum: Persimmon, Sidmouth and greenfield sites

The developer's proposals under the draft Local Plan hit the front pages of the Herald last year:
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... housing: numbers much too low for developers... much too high for CPRE
Futures Forum: Public Examination of the New East Devon Local Plan ... HOUSING

It's clear that campaigning groups are very unhappy.

SHMA ‘”does not of itself set the housing target” | Save Our Sidmouth
Twenty-year report needed, for housing projections to be sound. | Save Our Sidmouth
Update on Local Plan Public Examination, and on Knowle. | Save Our Sidmouth

Devon CPRE:


Housing is both something we are familiar with and is very complex in planning terms, since any new significant housing proposal will involve issues to do with landscape, transport, social, educational, medical and other support facilities and may encourage large doses of both Nimbyism and politics. CPRE National Office has a comprehensive campaign briefing on the subject.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the more recent Growth & Infrastructure Bill have made significant changes to planning policy for housing. There is now much more emphasis on increasing land supply with pressures for Greenfield development and damage to the countryside likely to increase. Financial incentives for housing development and a new emphasis on viability add a new dimension which could make it more difficult to secure good planning outcomes and high standards of development.

Key elements that need to be considered are Housing Need, Land Supply, Deliverability and Viability, Population and Household Projections, Empty Homes, Design and Housing Density, Sustainability and most importantly Affordability. Devon is a County of low average wages and higher than average house prices. Rural Affordable Housing has long been a key campaign issue for CPRE Devon. As ever, a good Neighbourhood Plan will place your community in a stronger position to influence outcomes. Facts are often difficult to come by. CPRE Devon has commissioned a paper “Home Truths – The facts behind Housing in Devon”. Both these helpful documents can be found on our Help Desk.

Housing | Protecting Devon & Planning Appplications

With the most recent comment from the CPRE reported nationally:
Tens of thousands of new homes in greenfield areas to get automatic planning permission - Telegraph
Bye bye countryside, bye bye localism, hello urban sprawl | East Devon Watch

What is it that motivates the anxiety over 'too much development' - especially when it comes to housing?

The issue was considered recently at the Cato Institute, the free-market think tank:


Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation

Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation
Zoning has shaped American cities since 1916, when New York City adopted the first comprehensive ordinance. It has remained a popular and widely used institution, particularly for homeowners wishing to protect the value of their homes. As values have soared in recent years, however, this protection has accelerated to the degree that new housing development has become unreasonably difficult and costly. The widespread Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome is driven by voters’ excessive concern about their home values and creates barriers to growth that reach beyond individual communities. Those barriers contribute to suburban sprawl, entrench income and racial segregation, retard regional immigration to the most productive cities, add to national wealth inequality, and slow the growth of the American economy. Zoning Rules, an update of Fischel’s 1985 classic book The Economics of Zoning, examines this history while offering solutions to the unintended consequences of zoning.

Events | Cato Institute
Zoning Rules! The Economics of Land Use Regulation | Cato Institute

Although at another free-market think tank, the Foundation for Economic Freedom, the conclusion is just slightly different:

Why Do Homeowners Love NIMBY?

The answer isn't so obvious

MICHAEL HAMILTON Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Along with this opposition to development comes a desire for excluding the wrong type of people, be it yuppies, young people, old people, renters, rich people, poor people, minorities, or hipsters. The goal is to carefully curate the type of people who live in the neighborhood just as one would curate new buildings through zoning or design review.

If status is a primary motivation behind NIMBYism, it means that people who oppose development are telling the truth in one regard: they really care about the character of their neighborhoods and are willing to forego lots of money to preserve it.

The problem with this policy preference is that it also places large costs on third parties in the form of higher rents and encourages workers to live in suboptimal locations.

Why Do Homeowners Love NIMBY? | Foundation for Economic Education
What motivates NIMBYism? — Medium

In My Backyard – DC | DC laws give NIMBYs a lot of power to say no to any new development. We give District residents a way to say yes.

This is a very American perspective - zoning rules do not apply in the UK. 
However, we do have 'land-use' classification:
Planning use classes in England - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is just one example in East Devon of proposals to change this classification:
12/1185/MOUT | Outline planning application for a mixed use development providing for Class B1(a) offices (up to 3,100sqm GIA), Class B1(c) and B2 Industrial Units (up to 4,791sqm GIA), play space/open space, sports field, including two football pitches, multi-use games area, changing rooms and parking and erection of up to 170 dwellings (34 affordable) and associated roads and infrastructure including a main spine road (all matters reserved) | Land East Of Harepath Road Seaton

And here's another:
09/0472/MOUT | Outline application for the change of use of land and associated development for uses B2 (industrial) and B8 (storage and distribution) | Waldrons Farm Sidmouth Road Farringdon EX5 2JX

In an interesting aside on the Streetlife blog this week, it has been noted that the District Council has made it much easier to change these criteria:

Incidentally, her letter slamming the independent EDA councillors on EDDC for not supporting local farming was wonderfully ironic. Mrs Liverton was a leading member of the Conservative group that in 2008 changed planning rules to make it easier for agricultural land in rural areas to be converted into "business parks".

Streetlife | Honorary Alderman E.D.D.C.

And of course there was the EDBF, which lobbied for such 'flexibility':
Residents report concern over business forum interests - Claire Wright
Disgraced ex-councillor Brown and the East Devon Business Forum: call for action at East Devon District Council | East Devon Watch
Futures Forum: Lobbying: East Devon Business Forum

All of which begs the question - not 'what motivates nimbyism?' - but 'who benefits from land-use classification?'

See also:
Futures Forum: "We’ll make sure the homes that are needed get built – if a council fails to produce a suitable local plan, we’ll have it done it for them."
Futures Forum: Neighbourhood plans: "Rule number one is that you have to accept the need for development."
Futures Forum: "Developer-led free-for-all is actually council policy"
Futures Forum: Are you a SWIMBY? >>> Something Wonderful In My Back Yard >>>
Futures Forum: Ian Nairn: Outrage at the failures of urban planning
Futures Forum: "Planning Minister Nick Boles said there was 'no excuse' for a local authority not putting a local plan in place."
Futures Forum: Telegraph campaign: Hands off Our Land
Futures Forum: Going BANANAs: planning and NIMBYism


No comments: