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Are we a nation of NIMBYs?

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30/10/2019
Despite the housing crisis, there are an average 2.2 objections raised for every planning application, with some projects attracting thousands
Are we a nation of NIMBYs?

Britain’s housing market may be broken but, while new homes and infrastructure are desperately needed, not everyone can agree on where they should be built.

Almost two million people have complained about planning permission applications since the start of 2017, according to Churchill Home Insurance.

These people, sometimes known as NIMBYs (“Not in My Back Yard”) are those who are opposed to a building or project being developed too close to where they live.

Since the start of 2017, almost 870,000 planning permission applications have been submitted across the UK, including new homes, hotels, hospitals, car parks, wind turbines, creating landfill sites and waste industries as well as extensions to existing properties.

On average, each planning application receives 2.2 objections.

London has received the highest number of objections, with 482,000 raised since 2017, over a quarter of all objections noted.

South Lanarkshire Council in Scotland received the highest number of complaints for a single planning application in the past three years. This occurred in 2017 when 7,080 people registered their objections for the Hamilton incinerator, which was commissioned in 2013 (and the application subsequently abandoned).

What are we objecting to?

Churchill found that private rights of access (51 per cent) was the most commonly-cited reason for an objection to a planning application, with loss of view and land and boundary disputes coming an equal second (both 50 per cent).

Negative impact on property value (43 per cent) and the impact of construction works (39 per cent) completed the top five.

Craig Rixon, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “The environment in which we live is constantly evolving. Whether it be homes needing to expand for growing families or changes to towns and cities to cope with demands, planning permission is at the forefront of it all.

“Although many new developments like hospitals and car parks are used by most of society, it is understandable that people would not want them to be situated close to their home. Not everyone can afford to or wants to move, so often we are left with no choice but to complain about the unwanted facility.”

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