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Will local referendums on new housing be good for rural areas?

10:31 UK time, Monday, 16 August 2010

Government plans to hold local referendums on new housing schemes in England could tear village communities apart, rural campaigners have said. Do you agree?

The Rural Coalition said plans to require at least 90% of local people to approve new building schemes in villages would create conflict and bring projects to a halt. Instead they would like to see elected parish councils being able to initiate community-led developments and councils freed up to help address the need for new housing for young families and low-income households in rural areas.

However, the government has defended the plans, saying it is only right new developments should have overwhelming local support and vowing that it is committed to protecting and preserving local villages.

Do you live in a rural community? What are your views on the government's plans? Are local referendums a good idea? Should there be more affordable housing in rural areas? Have you been priced out of staying in your local area?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Housing should be of good quality where people actually want to live. I have seen too many high density developments going up in our countryside which are no better than slums. Concreting over the countryside is in my opinion every bit as bad as destroying the rainforests. If there is a shortage of housing then the way to combat this is by reducing demand ( no more immigration – and deport all illegal immigrants) and by blocking people owning multiple country homes, by new Laws if necessary . The Rural coalition’s idea of letting Councils decide seems like a recipe for environmental hooliganism; in my experience it always seems to be the case that councils want to destroy parts of the countryside in order to build new houses (usually because it involves the council getting, quite legally, money or some other perk from the developer), while the local people usually don’t want the new development.

    Let the people have the final say.

  • Comment number 2.

    Another brilliant idea from the government that says it wants to stop waste and save money!

    Just who is going to pay for this?

    Planning in this country is already too protracted, and often by full time objectors who wont be happy until we return to the 18th century and the tree huggers who object to every development - 'we have a house so we are alright jack, save the trees!'

  • Comment number 3.

    It is a silly requirement to need 80% of the voters vote yes. It's estimated that at any one time 10-15% of voters cannot vote, they've moved, they're away, or some other reason.

    I agree that it should need a significant approval, but at least set one that is achievable, something like the original Scottish devolution vote, where 2/3 of those that vote need to say yes and at least 50% of voters, vote. Any less than this would require 80% of those that vote to say yes.

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes good idea, locals know the problems and the best places to build.

    The previous "blind" policy tried to do things like build thousands of homes in a flood plain, almost certain to flood relatively often and the increased pressure on infrastructure overwhelm the drainage system.

    It's important to solve the the unoccupied second home and holiday let problem which is damaging small local economies, a substantial special tax on such properties would help reverse the decline.

  • Comment number 5.

    I do live in rural community and think that this is good idea. We have had many projects foisted on us from the county council (Labour controlled).

    These have been everything from:

    Two new blocks of flats that were given to ASBO families (shipped in from the nearby, larger towns and cities)

    A new "incinerator" for burning waste (from the nearby, larger towns and cities)

    A windmill farm to provide electricity (to supply the nearby, larger towns and cities)

    We would welcome any input, the only option we have now is objecting to planning permission, which never works.

  • Comment number 6.

    You wont get 90% of any village agreeing to anything of any kind, let alone the building of, say, a social housing estate on their doorstep. How ridiculous.

  • Comment number 7.

    Referenda cost money- Taxpayers Money- and the Tories accuse Labour of profligacy.
    Another unfunded sop to Middle England?

  • Comment number 8.

    I live in Cornwall, where houe prices are high, wages are well below the national average and it has become impossible for many local people to have any chance of living in the communities where they were born and brought up, and where their family and friends are. Many villages are dominated by holiday and second homes, bought as investments by people who are barely ever there; they stand idle for large parts of the year and often there aren't enough people to support the village shop or pub. The people who have bought these investment homes tend to oppose any new development on the grounds that it might reduce their house value, and do so without regard for local community or amenities. The proposals will allow this tiny majority of people to block all development, turning communities into dead holiday villages, turfing out the locals and killing local culture and social networks.

  • Comment number 9.

    Get to the real problem behind housing policy - IMMIGRATION.

    Immigration is what's caused the population growth and low wages that make housing so difficult to find and afford.

    Building millions of new homes is a massive environmental and social issue.

    Those who support immigration need to recognise they've made a huge mistake, and admit that they've created an environmental nightmare. The opposition to new housing isn't 'nimbyism'. Nimbyism is opposing stuff that's necessary, that you'll be happy to use, but don't want in your back yard.

    The vast majority of people in this country never wanted mass immigration, and they don't want their countryside and communities wrecked by it.

  • Comment number 10.

    Obviously no one in the government lives in a village. The second homers will vote 'no' whatever because they have no investment in providing homes for young local people. It will just make sure that the 'dormitory' village remains one.

  • Comment number 11.

    No more building on our green countryside, period. If we need to build houses, knock down the existing inner city slums, and build them there.

  • Comment number 12.

    Majority local support is very important, although I would say a figure of 80% to 90% is too high, perhaps 70%.

    Although I have to ask, what in the end is an affordable house? It may sound like a stupid question as the answer is quite simple, its a cheap house.

    But why is a house cheap? The answer - because no one or very very few really want to buy it or live in it. So this leads me to think that affordable houses are either; built to a very poor standard, are very small, have no garden or parking or all these.

    I actually question how such housing will help community spirit.

    Why don't we instead force estate agents to value properties more realistically. An idea I have shared before is forcing estate agents to reimburse sellers when they have failed to sell a house within an agreed time period.

    Often estate agents will provide a potential seller a 1, 3 and 6 month selling price. Most sellers will settle on the 3 month price. This must therefore be realistic and not an inflated price given to simply attract the seller and encourage them to put their house on the market.

    If the 3 month price is chosen, and the estate agent does not sell the property within 3 months, then the estate agent should offer the seller the opportunity to take their house off the market at which point all reasonable costs that the seller have incurred will be reimbursed by the estate agent.

  • Comment number 13.

    This isn't a new topic as it was on HYS three or four weeks ago. It won't work because the majority will not want development, as the majority of people have moved into the village either to retire or commute, and will not want cheap affordable housing spoiling their village. The families who have lived there for generations, but find that their children can not afford housing in the village will be a minority and therefore will never be able to get any new housing developments voted through.
    It really should be left to councils to determine the housing needs for an area.

  • Comment number 14.

    We have local authorities to make these kinds of decisions. Handing them to the public - who let's face it will always find something to moan about with any development - is very dangerous and I fear it will lead to almost every development getting blocked for no real reason.

  • Comment number 15.

    Great idea! Now make it far more expensive to own a second home, allow repossession of, or tax long-term empty homes & do something about the population explosion in this country and we could be making Britain a much nicer place to live!

  • Comment number 16.

    Any proposal that lets people have "affordable" housing in line with the "poor" wages they get in the rural communities is welcome.My prediction is that interfering Parish Councils,District Councils and pressure groups will stop any such affordable housing being built. We are of course talking about the strongholds of NIMBY and their supporters and they are bad enough when building is proposed within a radius of say 100 miles let alone on their own doorstep!Another silly idea from this rubbish coalition.

  • Comment number 17.

    Can anybody tell me the name of any village anywhere in Britain where 90% of the population would vote in favour of a new housing development? The majority of people living in villages are either people who were born there or people who have moved there to get away from the urban sprawl. Neither of these groups is likely to want new developments in their own village but would not mind it happening in somebody else's village.

  • Comment number 18.

    Having a need for planning permission is a GOOD thing. Developers don't care about the harm they can do and a good percentage of them are totally unscrupulous. They, build, sell and then move on without a thought for the mess they've left behind. No good can come of lowering the standards and making it easier to build.

  • Comment number 19.

    "
    13. At 11:34am on 16 Aug 2010, David wrote:

    This isn't a new topic as it was on HYS three or four weeks ago. It won't work because the majority will not want development, as the majority of people have moved into the village either to retire or commute, and will not want cheap affordable housing spoiling their village. The families who have lived there for generations, but find that their children can not afford housing in the village will be a minority and therefore will never be able to get any new housing developments voted through.
    It really should be left to councils to determine the housing needs for an area.
    "

    Nah, I prefer democracy any day, rather than have some corrupt councillors getting back handers from building firms for granting permission to build on green land.

  • Comment number 20.

    "
    6. At 11:25am on 16 Aug 2010, ticktickticktickboom wrote:

    You wont get 90% of any village agreeing to anything of any kind, let alone the building of, say, a social housing estate on their doorstep
    "

    And who would blame us.

  • Comment number 21.

    Nice idea but who's gonna pay for it,& what happens if there's a split vote??







  • Comment number 22.

    It could be called the Nimby Charter.

    I can just see people who have retired to a nice village voting for affordable housing for those they see as the great unwashed to breed in!

  • Comment number 23.

    The Bloke wrote:
    Get to the real problem behind housing policy - IMMIGRATION.
    Immigration is what's caused the population growth and low wages that make housing so difficult to find and afford.



    I couldn't agree more !

    Those immigrants from South East England are destroying our country villages by buying up all of the housing and land to use as weekend retreats or for playing farmer and this has resulted in a shortage of housing for those who were born in the area and want to find somewhere to start a new home.

    Tax these immigrants with 250% council tax on second homes and introduce a 50% second home tax for all housing not being bought as a primary residence.

  • Comment number 24.

    Post 8 hits the nail squarely on the head.
    Post 9 is just a HYS hobbyhorse being ridden off towards the horizon.
    Q. How many Polish(to pick a popular out group) plumbers are buying second homes in rural areas?
    A. Zero.
    The issue of a lack of housing in rural and urban areas affordable for first-time buyers or even at an affordable rent and the damage done to rural communities by second homers and buy to let, is not a immigration issue.
    A purely market driven approach to housing has caused this problem.

  • Comment number 25.

    I mentioned in a previous post that I was in favour of this. It will, however probably not work. A social housing scheme built around the village would dilute the vote of the original villagers in subsequent votes.
    So scenario would be small village, local pub, newsagent/village shop/post office, 30 - 35 houses/cottages in village and 10 - 15 houses/cottages dotted around village. Most elderly/recently retired so two people in most houses and some winter/summer owners. Only four or five families. Eight families in ASBO development.

    So say one vote per household at present would be 50 original to 8 "incommers". If, by a miracle, a social housing scheme is built with 50 houses then 50 original to 58 "incommers".

    Next vote Bingo hall then DVD rental shop, sun tanning parlour, bookmakers, another social housing estate, social work building, unemployment benefit office and so on.

    So it's a no-brainer. Build your social housing estates on disused inner city industrial estates.

  • Comment number 26.

    ... the government has defended the plans, saying it is only right new developments should have overwhelming local support etc etc etc.'
    Wow - this is a new way of thinking for the government, actually taking on board the views of the population at large rather than just inflicting their policies upon us. Where will this end?

  • Comment number 27.

    Regarding the issue of referenda on housing, it shouldn't have reached this point. We need fewer people, not more housing.

    And just a point to those contributers bemoaning the fact that locals can't afford to buy their own homes...

    I'm a Londoner, but one day my wife and I would love to live in Cornwall. However, I wouldn't want a second home there - if we go, we go, and we live there all year round and support the local economy. However - most of those that have bought second homes will have bought them from Cornish people - maybe not directly, but at some point, a 'local' will have sold the property to an 'outsider'.

    If people in any given town/county/area want their homes to stay in the hands of locals, then it's down to them to sell their houses at a fair price to locals. But if someone from 'the big city' comes along and offers them £30,000 more, and they accept it, then they're being rather hypocritical when they complain that their children can't afford to live there any more.
    You can't have it both ways!

  • Comment number 28.

    "Referenda"

  • Comment number 29.

    I think consultation is better rather than referendum as it gives the chance that some people may actually change their opinions in the face of rational argument.

    1 & 9. Population increases because british people have babies. I assume you don't object to teenage mothers getting council flats, then?

    7. Well said.

    14. Couldnt agree more. My local council promised my local football club a new ground sixteen years ago but any time they get close to it the council bottles it and gives into the nimbys.

  • Comment number 30.

    Many villages and rural areas and surburbs have been wrecked by enthusiastic (usually Lib Dem) councils working with developers to use every available piece of land for hideous buildings euphemistically described as 'affordable housing'. I am talking about back garden development, booting people of allotments, and building on school fields. Objectors have usually been over ruled even when it has involved destruction of hedgerows, protected oaks, and has involved building where there is inadequate sewage facilities and infrastructure. Traffic density has increased in areas where there inadequate the road space and pollution levels have rose. If referenda will bring commonsense I am all for it.

  • Comment number 31.

    All most local people are concerned about is their view and whether their property's value will be lowered by new development. So generally,I would expect referendums to practically always say no,so it seems to be a wasted exercise. People have no right to a view in law,and owning a property does not give you the right to presume you can dictate planning decisions in the local area on other people's land. However,I would expect local planning authorities behave sensitively and reasonably when they grant permission,which seems to be generally the status quo in the UK right now.Local opposition and rejection of development near where I live was simply motivated by the NIMBYism of a few dozen people who would only be slightly affected,and will do the greater area a lot of harm as it was part of a scheme to reopen a railway station to serve 3000 people in an isolated rural area.

  • Comment number 32.

    17. At 11:43am on 16 Aug 2010, devilzadvacate1 wrote:
    Can anybody tell me the name of any village anywhere in Britain where 90% of the population would vote in favour of a new housing development? The majority of people living in villages are either people who were born there or people who have moved there to get away from the urban sprawl. Neither of these groups is likely to want new developments in their own village but would not mind it happening in somebody else's village.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Yes. I can mention lots of villages and suburbs where entire communities are prepared to sell off their back gardens for considerable sums. Every few days I receive letters from developers who want to buy mine and other gardens in the area; they will help residents form consortiums where they can collectively sell off their gardens and live quite well on the proceeds. I guess this explains the economic performance of the Labour era - a nation that prospered by selling its gardens.

  • Comment number 33.

    This is important.

    The last govt tried to foist vast, unsustainable numbers of homes on the Southeast of England.

    Don't underestimate the local knowledge on infrastructure problems, flooding, all the issues that should be addressed. It's not all about nimbyism. Nor can the local authority always be relied on for technical competence. Living in a rural area, new 'social' housing seems to sometimes be simply a dustbin for problem families, with guaranteed antisocial behaviour problems. Building yesterdays slums, tomorrow.

    We should be aware that every home built is more income for the local authority from the community charge and more subsidy from the Exchequer. Say £1500/2000 a year per home. In addition the authority gets perfectly legal bribes of so called developer contribution; hundreds of thousands of pounds to in theory offset the impact of development.

    The technical assessments used by planning authorities in their decision making are drawn up by consultants employed by the applicant, so guess how impartial they are.

    Local authorities are unlikely to challenge developers that have muscle, it costs too much.

    Housing development is only about money, both in the building work and in the increase in land value. We are well overdue for a rebalancing of decision making on local development.

  • Comment number 34.

    The problem isnt the quantity of houses, its the price and that anyone in social housing seems to stay there for life.

  • Comment number 35.

    Of course local communities ought to be the ones to decide what to do within said community.

    However, the overly bureaurocratic and complex route of a referendum is a wasteful way of going about. Hold a village meeting, discuss it within the community and then decide... with a proper concensus reached by debate.

    Pity politicians have lost touch with the idea of 'debate' or 'concensus' or that you actually have to back up your suggestion of what you want to do with a supporting argument.

  • Comment number 36.

    If there is a shortage of housing then the way to combat this is by reducing demand ( no more immigration – and deport all illegal immigrants
    --------------

    Is there no subject safe from the blame it on foreigners brigade.

    Rural communities do not have any problem with illegal immigrants in fact the vast majority of urban communities don't either! The problem is caused by the city financiers /landed classes/stock market bookies etc buying second homes in rural settings for week end use or for the commute to the City .

    These people couldn't give a rats about local facilities as they don't use them, they don't work locally ,don't use public transport, their children go to public schools and their other purchases are made either on line or delivered from an expensive grocer or purchased at the nearest Waitrose within Chelsea tractor distance.

    They are quite happy for a village to look like a picture postcard but not be a functional community and will vote in favour of retaining it in this form.

  • Comment number 37.

    Will local referendums on new housing be good for rural areas?

    Depends whether you think new development is good or not.

    I can guarantee that nothing will be built in the market town where I live - the local residents association is currently looking at going to court to prevent a new development on the disused old market site, mainly as far as I can tell, just because they don't want any new bulidings in the town.

    Still the NIMBY's are going to love it...

  • Comment number 38.

    I partially agree with a poster above that in an ideal world it should be less people and not more houses. Unfortunately this isn't likely to happen (certainly not in the short term).

    Therefore we need to be sensible about where and how houses are built. I think this is a great idea because it gives local communities a say. I do think its very important to have the local people onboard with future projects. It is also very important that we don't turn pretty villages and picturesque countryside into a concrete jungle and chav dwelling council estates. Otherwise you can kiss goodbye to our tourism industry as was being discussed last week.

  • Comment number 39.

    24. At 12:01pm on 16 Aug 2010, LeftieAgitator wrote:
    Q. How many Polish(to pick a popular out group) plumbers are buying second homes in rural areas?
    A. Zero.
    The issue of a lack of housing in rural and urban areas affordable for first-time buyers or even at an affordable rent and the damage done to rural communities by second homers and buy to let, is not a immigration issue.
    A purely market driven approach to housing has caused this problem.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Many Polish immigrants are heading out to country areas to do agricultural work. They must be living somewhere- and pushing up housing cotss. What you also forget it that when you push maybe 2-5 million immigrants (who know the number? - not the Government) into London - many people will choose to leave London for the country. The issue is most certainly part caused by immigration.

    The Labour Government had 13 years to house the working class. Instead of providing a home for all - which was possible - it seems they choose to stab the British working class in the back and bring in millions of immigrants who were in many cases housed ahead of British people and in any case competed with British people for housing.

  • Comment number 40.

    Puppy Sanswich wrote:
    "Referenda"


    Referendum:
    As a gerundive, it has no plural in Latin; “referendums” is the preferred plural spelling in English.

    The term “referenda” is only used when several different issues are being debated; a series of referendum on the same issue should be referred to as referendums.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes.
    Hopefully they will stop the south turnning into Coruscant*.

    *fictional planet in star wars universe covered by one mega city (no green space)

  • Comment number 42.

    The plain fact is that all the NIMBYS will object, so what is the point??

    The Planning Autorities have their Structure Plans in place anyway, and they're already accountable to the electorate.

    We don't need this, it's just a waste of money which would be better spent on Social Services or Education. Another barmy idea from the Tories.



  • Comment number 43.

    Another day and another gimmick from the so called Government. Its what happens when the Tory party elects a Liberal Democrat as its leader. David Cameron is as much a Conservative as I am a martian.

    For the sake of this country Cameron must go, and he can take all the dross in government with him. I saw Eric Pickles on the television the other night and immediately thought every government needs its John Prescott type.

    Yesterday we had Milburn join the government, what did he do when Labour were in power? Yes messed up everything he touched. So he is perfect for whatever he is going to get paid a fortune of our money to do. Will he be successful? His bank manager will be happy.

    What next? Alistair Cambell assisiting Andy Coulson in getting the message across. Why not get Gordon Gimmick back to help Caviar George at the Treasury and if they can afford him Phoney Tony to advise on how to bow down to what the rest of the world tell us to do.

    WE NEED A GOVERNMENT IN THIS COUNTRY.

    This debate is about housing yet the problem is immigration that is causing the housing problems and allowing developers to build rabbit hutches on top of each other. Of course as is consistent with a liberated dimwit government they cannot make a decision.

  • Comment number 44.

    36. At 12:17pm on 16 Aug 2010, steve wrote:
    "If there is a shortage of housing then the way to combat this is by reducing demand ( no more immigration – and deport all illegal immigrants)
    --------------
    Is there no subject safe from the blame it on foreigners brigade?"
    Check out the debate on getting rid of British Summer Time/GMT: I am astonished to see there that hardly anyone has blamed the immigrants, turning instead to good ol-fashioned South of England vs Scotland and the North. How remiss!

    Can I also echo several comments vis-a-vis "Referendums". It was "referenda" in my day, diddums!

  • Comment number 45.

    A lot of people might not like this but what's needed is a big fall, in real terms, in property prices. Perhaps it's coming. The failure to see a home as a place to live and rather as an asset against which to borrow is at the root of the country's economic woes.

    As for villages, and I live in one, the problem seems to me that they can be dominated by a clique, often a so-called "resident's association". They represent their opinions as speaking for the whole community, when as expected their main concern is the pecuniary position of their little set.

    What concerns me about the proposal is that it does not make clear how the 90% support is to be verified. Bring in the electoral commission? Because without this the proposed position would appear to be wide open to the abuse I point out. One can imagine a wealthy landowner in the green belt, conniving with a toady residents' association to bypass green belt restrictions on a lucrative but probably otherwise undesirable development.

    The whole thing would seem to be a sop to those tory voters who now find the development potential, and value, of their property reduced by the recent reclassification of gardens from brownfield to greenfield sites, i.e. with a presumption now against, rather than for, development.

  • Comment number 46.

    Here on the N. Wales coast the issue is second homes.
    Perhaps the planning law should be changed so a 'dwelling' would need a 'change of use' to be used as a second home and the community should decide whether they are happy to have the use changed. This would stop the immigrants from the South East forcing up prices and turning our rural areas into theme parks for the greedy.

  • Comment number 47.

    We should have referendums on everything.

    The first one would be on a new voting system that allows run-off primaries so that we can break the corrosive oligarchy that is ruining our country.

  • Comment number 48.

    The issue isn’t immigration, its overpopulation.

    It’s not Polish plumbers that are the concern, but the twentysomething single Mums with six kids who are “entitled” to be housed are our expense.

  • Comment number 49.

    My comment...

  • Comment number 50.

    English Villages cannot subsist alongside Sink Estates, period.

  • Comment number 51.

    45. At 12:43pm on 16 Aug 2010, Eddy from Waring wrote:

    A lot of people might not like this but what's needed is a big fall, in real terms, in property prices. Perhaps it's coming. The failure to see a home as a place to live and rather as an asset against which to borrow is at the root of the country's economic woes.

    ===========================

    Sadly this is what is needed and then housing inflation pegged against RPI to esnure the house price "miracle" is removed from determining prosperity.

    Only an idiot cannot see that allowing house prices to more than double in less than a decade is the root of the majority of the problems. They call it supply and demand but when you supplying the demand through mass immigtation it does not help.

    Joined up government, most of our government haven't even learned to do joined up writing yet

  • Comment number 52.

    Total waste of time and money.

  • Comment number 53.

    There is a time for referendums and a time for no referendums, and of the two, I believe the latter applies to this case.
    What will the Government do with its plan(s) when local referendums vote NO? What if the majority of all referendums vote NO.
    I can't imagine 90% of any local community agreeing to anything - far less on new building schemes. Even elected parish councils could expect flack.
    The Coalition Government defends the plans. It says that it is only right new developments should have overwhelming local support. Why? Does Britain not have ByLaws? Does Britain not have zoning? Aren't the areas of the country already divided and locked into derivative uses? I mean either a new building scheme is in accordance with the ByLaws or it is not...and changing ByLaws is a whole other process.


  • Comment number 54.

    The answer to the housing problem is not to build more houses: that's what the builders want you to think.
    There are more than enough houses to provide everyone in this land with a roof over their head, and there would still be some left empty.
    The problem is not the numbers, but the price.

    When my father bought his house it cost him the equivalent of 4 years salary. That was in the sensible days, long before the wave of house price booms. Today, an average house will cost almost 8 years salary, sometimes more, and wages have not gone up at the same rate.

    There is no check on house prices: figures are simply plucked out of the air by estate agents, only too eager to earn their percentage-based commission. That's what's driven up the price, not a mythical "lack of supply". The only reason there was a "lack of supply" is because there were no houses left at an affordable price for most people.

    What's needed is a realistic ceiling on house prices, and estate agents to get paid a fixed fee instead of a percentage of what the property sells for.

  • Comment number 55.

    46. At 12:44pm on 16 Aug 2010, AlexisWolf
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    A very good suggestion I think Alexis. I would also make the renting out of a home for gain, rather than owner occupation as a residence, a change of use. Cash tenants near me have severely neglected the amenity of the area, fly tipping etc. They seem, perhaps understandably, to get some relief from the resentment of paying rent to the landlord by devaluing his property, in degrading the surroundings as far as I can see.

  • Comment number 56.

    I am sorry to say this but I really think someone has to, it is not difficult to understand why many people don't want social housing developments in their villages. You only have to walk through many social housing estates to understand it. Abandoned supermarket trollies, graffitti, front gardens growing wild, fences broken down or missing altogether not to mention rusting old cars on bricks! I am not overstating this, many of these estates are exactly like this. I also know that there are many many housing association and council tenants who take a pride in their homes and make sterling efforts to keep them nice but far too many have no pride or social consience whatsoever and it is these people who make it bad for everyone else. Would I want that in my street?? NO! Landlords should ensure that there are requirements for the maintenance of standards from their tenants and failure to comply would mean eviction, maybe then social housing would be seen as it should be.

  • Comment number 57.

    48. At 12:49pm on 16 Aug 2010, Loftgroov wrote:

    The issue isn’t immigration, its overpopulation.

    It’s not Polish plumbers that are the concern, but the twentysomething single Mums with six kids who are “entitled” to be housed are our expense.

    =========================================

    Two sides of the same coin.

    Take a trip down places like Leytonstone in London and see the problem of eastern Europeans and their contribution to the population explosion. You feel like you are in a foreign country in these places now.

    They are the hosing shortage problem of tomorrow.

  • Comment number 58.

    " 12. At 11:34am on 16 Aug 2010, Trying2beAReaslist wrote:
    If the 3 month price is chosen, and the estate agent does not sell the property within 3 months, then the estate agent should offer the seller the opportunity to take their house off the market at which point all reasonable costs that the seller have incurred will be reimbursed by the estate agent.
    What "Costs" will need to be Repaid by the estate Agent?

  • Comment number 59.

    'The government has defended the plans, saying it was committed to protecting and preserving local villages and that was why the policy would give people the power to build new homes, shops and community facilities.' - BBC report
    .................................
    All very laudible, I'm sure. Unfortunately we all know that the developers, the people who will be doing all this building are not remotely interested in 'shops and community facilities'. All they will be doing is cramming as many dwellings as possible on the smallest available space because that is where the money is. Increasing the population of a community by perhaps 25% has a knock on effect as far as sewage, schools, medical services, roads, policing etc is concerned but the developers will take their profit from selling their dwellings and leave everyone else to pick up the slack.

  • Comment number 60.

    If we didn't have so many foreigners in the Country then we wouldn't need so many more houses. Stop immigration from the World, repatriate those who are illegal and that have overstayed their welcome. Leave the EU and save £45 millions a day. But of course the BBC will not print this comment, yet!

  • Comment number 61.

    I don't live in a rural area - But if this arrangement of 90% agreement was in force a few years ago - I would not live in a place where three blocks of 10 appallingly poor quality tiny flats were built - without consultation with the residents - on the sites of three separate tenement style houses. These first 30 flats meant that parking became horrendous.

    The final block - built on a so called "brown field site" that was actually initially "promised" to the residents as garden extensions/parking places - was totally opposed by the residents - as we were at last consulted for the first time.

    Yet the only concession was to not allow the new residents permission to park in a road that was already overfull between 0800 to 1830 when most people are at work anyway. Parking at night is a nightmare as was predicted by us and denied by the council. Not to mention we now have over 100 extra people living in our small road. Haven't met one who speaks English normally yet.

  • Comment number 62.

    57. At 1:00pm on 16 Aug 2010, Sat_tire wrote:
    "...They are the hosing shortage problem of tomorrow."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Why, are they all firemen?



  • Comment number 63.

    Will an ex-Labour Blairite be in charge of this plan? They seem to be running everything else for the coalition.

  • Comment number 64.

    There is no check on house prices: figures are simply plucked out of the air by estate agents, only too eager to earn their percentage-based commission. That's what's driven up the price, not a mythical "lack of supply". The only reason there was a "lack of supply" is because there were no houses left at an affordable price for most people.

    What's needed is a realistic ceiling on house prices, and estate agents to get paid a fixed fee instead of a percentage of what the property sells for.
    ........................................
    Now, I'm not a great lover of estate agents and am not here to defend them but I do feel the above post and others like it are a bit unfair.
    Estate agents do not dictate the price of your house - your house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. That is not to say that estate agents do not have a vested interest in getting the maximum amount for your house, of course they do, when they are on commission the higher the price the more they make. But it still requires someone to actually offer the price asked - the market dictates the price, not the estate agent.

  • Comment number 65.

    There's no chance at all that 90% of a village will vote in favour of development. People don't live in villages because they like lots of houses.

    So in order to build social housing for local people working in low paid rural jobs, the only way it will happen is by government approval whether residents like it or not.

  • Comment number 66.

    60. At 1:02pm on 16 Aug 2010, Happy wrote:
    "If we didn't have so many foreigners in the Country then we wouldn't need so many more houses. Stop immigration from the World, repatriate those who are illegal and that have overstayed their welcome. Leave the EU and save £45 millions a day. But of course the BBC will not print this comment, yet!"

    Fortunately the BBC did print the comment so we could all laugh.

  • Comment number 67.

    I don't live in the countryside but rural areas are one of the best things about Britain. We should be doing everything we can to preserve them and not just go concreating over them.

    We must reduce the demand for housing by controlling the ever rising population!

  • Comment number 68.

    65. At 1:12pm on 16 Aug 2010, Barnabas wrote:
    There's no chance at all that 90% of a village will vote in favour of development. People don't live in villages because they like lots of houses.
    So in order to build social housing for local people working in low paid rural jobs, the only way it will happen is by government approval whether residents like it or not.
    .................................
    Hit the nail on the head, Barnabus. Question is, if you and I and the majority of people posting here can see this why is it such a mystery to the PM?

  • Comment number 69.

    " 54. At 12:56pm on 16 Aug 2010, Graphis wrote:
    There is no check on house prices: figures are simply plucked out of the air by estate agents, only too eager to earn their percentage-based commission. That's what's driven up the price, not a mythical "lack of supply". The only reason there was a "lack of supply" is because there were no houses left at an affordable price for most people.
    What's needed is a realistic ceiling on house prices, and estate agents to get paid a fixed fee instead of a percentage of what the property sells for."
    -------------------------------------
    There is a lack of supply, people want to get the best price possible for their most valuable asset, estate agents reflect this, if the current market undervalues your property only hardship will force you to sell. Estate agent's valuations can be challenged it's called "making an offer!!"
    As for fixed fee estate agency that already exists (but is not popular with people trying to make a living from estate agency) but you can dig one up quite easily

  • Comment number 70.

    62. At 1:05pm on 16 Aug 2010, Eddy from Waring wrote:

    57. At 1:00pm on 16 Aug 2010, Sat_tire wrote:
    "...They are the hosing shortage problem of tomorrow."
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Why, are they all firemen?

    ===================

    Apparently yes, LOL

  • Comment number 71.

    It is not more housing that is the critical problem facing this country. But how to reduce population so as to remove the need. Towns and villages are merging into conurbations, of no value to anyone, and the countryside and essential environment is being destroyed.
    However, for 90% of a parish to back any proposal is unlikely short of war.
    Right wing parties have a strange tendency to equate society with individuals in the mass. It is really such bodies as the Parish Council that are there ekected to represent the community, and they are there to consider all sides of a debate, and make a decision that is virtually impossible for opinion polls.

  • Comment number 72.

    devilzadvacate1 wrote: "Now, I'm not a great lover of estate agents and am not here to defend them but I do feel the above post and others like it are a bit unfair.
    Estate agents do not dictate the price of your house - your house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. That is not to say that estate agents do not have a vested interest in getting the maximum amount for your house, of course they do, when they are on commission the higher the price the more they make. But it still requires someone to actually offer the price asked - the market dictates the price, not the estate agent."

    I agree with every word but one. It is the last word in the first paragraph.

    The word should be "stupid."

  • Comment number 73.

    LOL.

    What a COMPLETE and TOTAL UTTER PRETENTIOUS FARCE.

    Get 90% of any UK community to decide on something!!!!! LOL

    Why not get Tom Cruise to launch this policy as he has great experience of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.

  • Comment number 74.

    39. At 12:22pm on 16 Aug 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    What you also forget it that when you push maybe 2-5 million immigrants (who know the number?...)into London.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Who knows the number ? Certainly not you, but don't let that stop you making some up.

  • Comment number 75.

    I live in a parish, we have a pub and a church, the nearest shop is 4 miles the nearest supermarket is 12. We need to sympathetically expand the parish, say 5 houses a year and out of those 3 low cost affordable/ social housing.
    By doing that then we may see a village shop appear, public transport start and if the anti social brigade start getting housed they woulfd be in such a minority that they could be controlled.
    The problem is we must NOT let a tiny minority control a village/parish, the NIMBY's control society.
    I live near Bury St Edmunds-- my god you want to see how they protest at every sign of modernisation------- hello people wake up we are in the 21st century so at least let us move to the 20th.

  • Comment number 76.

    39. At 12:22pm on 16 Aug 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    Many Polish immigrants are heading out to country areas to do agricultural work. They must be living somewhere- and pushing up housing cotss.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Luckliy some are skilled tradesmen, and build their own cots, so they can pack quite a few into each house.

  • Comment number 77.

    This is a measure typical of all our governments. It is short-sighted, lacking in vision, budget driven and completely lacking in overview.

    There are 2 problems here not being addressed properly, both dependent on each other. First problem is the rural and agricultural economy and second is the shortage of affordable housing for local workers.

    Our whole attitude to British agriculture, local sourcing, food quality, soil quality and fair food pricing is wrong. We need a radical change of regulation and commercial philosophy that values high quality nutritional food without the inverted snobbery that regards healthy food as 'posh', that revives our terrible soil quality, that encourages agricultural employment and that supports our natural ecology. We could house all locals workers without a destructive building programme if we massively raised tax on second homes / holiday homes and if we raised fuel tax for cars whilst lowering fuel tax for public transport. The latter measure would discourage people intending to commute by car from village to town, whilst providing a public transport lifeline for village workers and townies alike.

    'Local referendums', in this context, is just a hollow scam designed to make it look as if something is being done.

  • Comment number 78.

    If the community say No then there will be an appeal process. The builders will appeal and that appeal will be heard by some two bob bureaucrat in London who gives not one jot what the community wants, in fact it is unlikely they would even take the time to read the objections. They will assume the objections are from a load of Nimbys and because of that and (wanting to get off home early) they will just grant the planing application. I can't imagine anyone would seriously believe that power would be taken from the government and handed back to the community. On paper maybe, in reality NO Chance! Not with this Power Hungary Government.

  • Comment number 79.

    "The Rural Coalition said plans to require at least 90% of local people to approve new building schemes in villages"

    There is a gramatical error here, it should read "90% of councillors with a vested interest and who will make money must approve the scheme"

    At least this is how it will be anyway, local get no say.

  • Comment number 80.

    "74. At 1:28pm on 16 Aug 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:
    39. At 12:22pm on 16 Aug 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    What you also forget it that when you push maybe 2-5 million immigrants (who know the number?...)into London.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Who knows the number ? Certainly not you, but don't let that stop you making some up."

  • Comment number 81.

    Many people point out that the sticking point will be getting 80-90% to agree.

    As I mentioned, what authority will be required as to that figure? The word of a "community group"? I can't see transparent elections being held. I think the government would leave loads of fiddle room, loopholes etc. for agenda-driven, self-interested, money-minded cliques to get their venal way, by hook or by crook (as they so often manage at present anyway).



  • Comment number 82.

    re: posting #61; there have been many high density 'social' homes built in recent years, based on planning policy introduced by Prescott, who is obsessed with such housing for other people.

    One of the features is very restricted parking (usually one bay per home)to force the use of public transport and cycling. This high density, low parking provision social housing suits developers because when they are required to build say 20% social on a new estate, less land is used, maximising profit.

    The problems caused in rural areas with no trains, few buses, and no local work, are entirely predictable.

    But to look on the bright side, cycle sheds have to be provided, even if there are no safe cycling routes, and the homes are more green, so thats all right then.

  • Comment number 83.

    90% for a majority?
    If only PM elections worked like that...


    It's designed to fail.
    If it succeeds, house prices will fall, and people will claim "Devaluation".

    The only people who will vote for it will be the first-time-buyers.

  • Comment number 84.

    Another day, another referendum.

    Whatever happened to planning objections? Don't people already have a means of having their say on new buildings? Or was this all just a dream?

    Another ConDem reinvention of the wheel.

    The big construction companies will no doubt spend huge amounts on convincing populations that there's is the right way to go. At least councillors tend to err towards impartiality.

    And for all those who think councillors are particularly susceptible to corruption. You now have that fat loaf Pickles to thank for getting rid of the Audit Commission.

  • Comment number 85.

    New politics? Is that when a government allows the people and MP's more votes, but then alters the meaning of "majority" (55%, 60%, 90%) to a figure that will give the most beneficial outcome to that government?
    I suppose if you are part of government that nobody voted for, the wishes of a real majority (50%+1) is easily dismissed.

  • Comment number 86.

    So this system will mean that if the Majority of the people want to see new homes built they minority will be able to stop them as little as 10%+1 will decide if new homes can be built.

    I though we lived in a democracy where the Majority of people get there way, not the Minority.

  • Comment number 87.

    RedandYellowandGreennotBlue wrote: "At least councillors tend to err towards impartiality."

    ROTFLMAO!

  • Comment number 88.

    #17. At 11:43am on 16 Aug 2010, devilzadvacate1 wrote:
    Can anybody tell me the name of any village anywhere in Britain where 90% of the population would vote in favour of a new housing development? The majority of people living in villages are either people who were born there or people who have moved there to get away from the urban sprawl. Neither of these groups is likely to want new developments in their own village but would not mind it happening in somebody else's village.

    ----------------------------------

    Yes, it is surprising how many people are in favour of a scheme like this, as long as it is not in their own back yard.

  • Comment number 89.

    75. At 1:31pm on 16 Aug 2010, Average-UK-Male wrote:

    I live near Bury St Edmunds-- my god you want to see how they protest at every sign of modernisation------- hello people wake up we are in the 21st century so at least let us move to the 20th.
    ---------------------------------------------

    On the other side of the coin, whats wrong with a rural area sticking to its "traditions". Why should everywhere have to be "modern" if thats not what the locals want. The description of where you live sounds pretty good to me as it is.

  • Comment number 90.

    Just a thought, but if this is such a good idea maybe the government would like to expand the scheme to include all new developments of all sorts!

    Wonder how they will ever get the new nuclear power stations we so badly need built then. . . . . .

  • Comment number 91.

    The reason a high figure, 90%, was specified was because it would permit development on Green Belt land where present planning procedures would prevent it. It would override the law, in effect.

    Hence it would provide a way for Green Belt landowners (probably tories) to realise their dreams of getting RICHER, provided they can satisfy, or APPEAR to satisfy the 90% quota. Watch that space.


  • Comment number 92.

    I live in a rural village and am a member of our Community Council. Developers approached us to make comment on a proposal for new affordable and private housing on land on the outskirts of the village. After consultation with residents who would be directly affected and making comments on difficulties we could foresee, we spoke to the developers tentatively giving our agreement. We could see all the benefits of this development for our village. However, when the plans were submitted to the local Council, they were COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!! Not what we agreed to at all. Beware developers bearing false ideas.

  • Comment number 93.

    I can see the logic in theory, but the outcome could be counterproductive in its divisiveness

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    The vast majority of people in this country never wanted mass immigration, and they don't want their countryside and communities wrecked by it.
    ///////////////////////////////////
    Exactly. The huge influx of immigrants plus the inevitable massive increase in childbirth will inevitably cause a big housing problem.
    Labour, who had no mandate whatsoever to allow unlimmited immigration, have left our children and grandcildren with a nightmare scenario.
    Like the EU fiasco, the British people were never consulted.
    AS I've said before the people responsible for this debacle should be behind bars.
    They have done more to wreck our country than Hitler.

  • Comment number 96.

    What will happen when all of this green and pleasant land is concreted over ??

  • Comment number 97.

    One could cry that it is just another London trick to swap a two bedroom ex-council flat in St Johns Wood for a 5 bedroom cottage in the Cotswalds. House prices fall in the country whilst house prices in London go through the roof because they are going to "rellocate" all their ASBOs, layabouts and drug addicts into "selected" areas. Keep them I want to stay in the country with no undesirable neighbours.

  • Comment number 98.

    At 2:06pm on 16 Aug 2010, LabourBrokeBritain wrote:
    75. At 1:31pm on 16 Aug 2010, Average-UK-Male wrote:

    I live near Bury St Edmunds-- my god you want to see how they protest at every sign of modernisation------- hello people wake up we are in the 21st century so at least let us move to the 20th.
    ---------------------------------------------

    On the other side of the coin, whats wrong with a rural area sticking to its "traditions". Why should everywhere have to be "modern" if thats not what the locals want. The description of where you live sounds pretty good to me as it is.
    ============================================================
    Your arguement falls down when a majority still have to give way to the minority. And what happens when the retailers desert the area because the people with disposable income spend it elsewhere. I am afraid progress happens and thank god it does.
    The policy that would allow a village of 250 peolple could get dictated by 26. That is NOT democracy.
    We had a issue in Bury St Edmunds (our nearest town) where one "elderly gent" protested over the developement of a cinema complex. His protests cost the developers hundreds of thousands of pounds, his objection --------- there would be too much noise. While we have that sort of mentality society will never progress.

  • Comment number 99.

    In response to 58.ThisWorld

    Thanks for the question.

    I was referring to costs such as Energy Efficiency Surveys. HIPS have been abolished but it's still necessary to have an Energy Efficiency survey completed on the property you are selling. Also any advertising costs incurred, such as newspaper advertising which will have been agreed with the agent.

    The costs and the idea itself are not the important part to my point though. The real point I'm making is to let supply and demand dictate house prices, not estate agents over optimism.

    In the town where I live (and its a desirable town) the same houses have been on the market for well over a year. Clearly they are over priced. The problem is estate agents can create false hope by over valuing a house in the first place, which leads to all round disappointment.

    The housing market needs to get moving again and correct pricing is the only way to make this happen.

  • Comment number 100.

    #9. At 11:28am on 16 Aug 2010, The Bloke wrote:
    "Get to the real problem behind housing policy - IMMIGRATION."

    From the Office of National Statistics:
    1981: UK inhabitants = 56 million; UK households = 20 million.
    2011 (projected): inhabitants = 62 million (up ~10%); households = 26 million (up ~30%).

    The rise in need for housing has outstripped the rise in population by approximately threefold, mostly due to more single occupancy households (people marrying later, increased divorce etc). Thus to single out immigation for the shortage of housing is at best ignorant of the facts, at worst an example of twisting them to fit a hate-filled world view.

 

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