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Paper Monitor

11:34 UK time, Friday, 7 September 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Everyone, especially newspaper editors, recognises the British obsession with property.

In few other countries would government proposals to allow people to relax planning laws and allow people to build larger extensions on houses generate so much sound and fury on the opinion pages.

But then this is the UK, a country in which so-called "property porn" has surely proved as lucrative down the years for publishers and TV producers as the "mommy" variety has for EL James.

To Anne Ashworth of the Times, those who object to the plans are "Nimbys" - a pejorative term for those whose response to every innovation is Not In My Backyard.

Countering this, however, is none other than Anthony Horowitz, writer of Midsomer Murders, who in the Daily Mail seeks to reclaim the term.

"It often strikes me that it was an evil genius who coined the word Nimby and used it as an insult," he writes.

"But really, shouldn't we all be Nimbys, looking after not just our own interests but those of our neighbours and local community? If we don't do it, who will? Politicians? Hardly."

Whichever side of the debate one falls on, Rachel Johnson offers a rather different perspective.

While all the attention has focused on the effects of a new mass conservatory-building programme on the nation's economy, Ms Johnson wonders in the Daily Telegraph what impact it will have on people's marriages. "I know for a fact that I am not one half of those couples you read about in the property sections who enjoy 'doing up' houses together 'as a project'," Ms Johnson admits.

She continues:

Simply renovating one small grotty bathroom has so far caused more domestics than almost anything else in my 20-year marriage. The row about the medicine cabinet has lasted a year and we are still grimly deadlocked over whether to move the heated towel rail.

Few commentators have yet explored this unintended consequence of planning reform. Paper Monitor would delve further into the issue but really has to get round to putting up those shelves as promised.

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