Could good home design help fight 'scourge' of Nimbyism?

Could good home design help fight 'scourge' of Nimbyism?
Ask anyone in the country, and they’ll agree that the UK needs hundreds of thousands of new homes

Land broker Aston Mead has backed a call for good design in the million new homes which are set to be built before the end of the decade.

Director Charles Hesse was responding to comments made last week by Neil Parish, the chairman of the environment select committee, who said that inappropriate construction risked “killing any sense of goodwill” in local communities. His words echoed those of Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives back in July, who warned that the Government needed to “avoid the disastrous design choices of the past” in order to create “local support” for additional new building.

Charles Hesse said: “Good design is essential in any new construction. And the truth is that appropriately designed homes need not be any more expensive than inappropriately designed ones.

Instead, it’s a question of selecting a suitable size of development, with an awareness of local infrastructure, a sensitivity to the surroundings in which the new buildings will be placed and a recognition of the features which make those homes desirable to buyers. Developers are businesses after all – and building properties which people are clamouring to buy makes good commercial sense.”

The Conservative manifesto reaffirmed a pledge to build a million new homes in the UK by 2020. But there are fears that the move could prompt a backlash if the homes are unsightly. However, Charles Hesse said there also needed to be an acceptance on the part of communities that some new local building was inevitable.

He explained: “Ask anyone in the country, and they’ll agree that the UK needs hundreds of thousands of new homes. But ask the same people to accept construction in their town or village – in some cases any construction at all – and some will immediately deny that it should take place. Yet they fail to see the contradiction in their argument. It’s a case of ‘Not In My Back Yard’ syndrome or ‘Nimbyism’, which is a scourge of modern British society.

I’ve even seen posters campaigning against new construction in the windows of houses which themselves have recently been constructed. Surely the owners of these homes must understand that newcomers want to live in the area for precisely the same reasons that attracted them. But presumably they believe that whilst it was acceptable for their own home to be built, any more is too much.

Perhaps these people have been put off by the design mistakes of the sixties and seventies. Fortunately, those days are far behind us. The best developers have long recognised that creating homes which are suitable for their surroundings as well as appealing to the needs of modern house buyers is the way forward.

The new minimum home size charter is preventing ‘rabbit hutch’ style properties being built, and advancing technology is making features like glass and solar roofs ever more attractive.

So good design in house building has never been more important – especially when it helps prevent the creation of more Nimbys in our cities, towns and villages.”

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Latest Comments

Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

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