'Nimby' charter will help small groups block development
David Cameron's Big Society vision will make it easier for a handful of Nimbys to block new homes in rural areas, killing village life and hastening the demise of post offices, schools and pubs, a damning report will warn this week. It condemns a plan to allow just 10 per cent of villagers to block new homes for local people as a "giant step backwards".
Grant Shapps, the Housing minister, unveiled plans for a "Community Right To Build", which, in effect, would allow villages to grant themselves planning permission for a small number of new, low-cost homes by holding a referendum. "Up and down the country there are entire communities eager to give the go-ahead for new developments in their area," he said.
However, in a report to be launched tomorrow, the Rural Coalition – made up of landowners, conservationists, planners and councils – claims the threshold of 80 to 90 per cent needed to secure permission risks creating a "right to block" for a small number of so-called Nimbys (not in my back yard – the nickname for protesters opposed to new development close to them). In place of the referendum plan, the group says elected parish councils should be the driving force behind small community-led affordable housing schemes to meet local needs.
The Lib Dem peer Lord Taylor, chair of the Rural Coalition, said: "What is already hard may be about to become impossible. Very few schemes don't have some opposition in any community, even if most people support them. In many villages, local people – young families, local employees – can't any longer afford a home, because more and more wealthy urbanites are choosing to buy a place in the country. Villages are dying, as living, working communities; are transformed into retirement, second-home and commuter enclaves – virtual gated communities for the rich and elderly."
Without significant change in policy, the report warns, public services in the countryside will be the first to disappear as spending is cut, while rural wages will still lag 20 per cent behind towns and cities.
Times are so tough in Italy that Mafiosi are considering getting jobs
The man they forgot to lock up: Mike Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in jail, but the police never came
Unbeliebable: The White House offers 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
South Korea ferry disaster: Families watch as remains of Sewol victims returned to shore
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
- 1 Disabled people are trapped in assessment 'nightmare' by PIP benefits regime, says Dr Stephen Duckworth
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Queen turns 88: David Bailey captures another side of the Queen in birthday portrait
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...