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Tired of Waiting

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Posts posted by Tired of Waiting

  1. That's a link to the same Guardian poll and a post about an admittedly silly planning rule, but nothing to do with NIMBYs objecting to reasonable growth.

    FWIW I'm sure such objections exist - either because you live in a highly over-priced village or because of the PITA factor of having building next door for several months and the impact on your view. In the case of the former, I'm not sure what you do if the whole village is objecting. For the latter, I can't really fault someone taking such a view - I'd just expect the planners to ignore it.

    Sorry, here, VRM's post 12 there: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=192993&view=findpost&p=909386351

    Then in post 14 he goes into more detail (the 2nd link in my previous post).

  2. It was originally intended to maintain a supply of small homes in the countryside. The planners said 3-bed is small, 4-bed is not.

    Rather than allowing new small homes to be built, they want existing homes to stay small. So really, its a policy to maintain the value of large homes in the countryside.

    Extracts from the particular policy is below :

    Policy HG/6 Extensions to Dwellings in the Countryside

    Extensions to dwellings in the countryside (i.e. outside development frameworks, as shown on the Proposals Map) will only be permitted where:

    The proposed development would not create a separate dwelling or be capable of separation from the existing dwelling;

    The extension does not exceed the height of the original dwelling;

    The extension does not lead to a 50% increase or more in volume or gross internal floor area of the original dwelling;

    The proposed extension is in scale and character with the existing dwelling and would not materially change the impact of the dwelling on its surroundings;

    In exceptional circumstances, material considerations may justify an exception to criteria (B) and ©, for example, dwellings with a very small original footprint which do not meet modern living standards.

    Everything is so insane.

    Quite disheartening.

  3. (...) There were no objections to my original application, just a refusal to allow a 3-bed house outside the village envelope to become a 4-bed. Apart from the odd horse and tractor driver, no-one would have seen it anyway.


    Why they don't allow "a 3-bed house outside the village envelope to become a 4-bed" ??

    What is their alleged reason behind that rule??

  4. Plan It, Build It. - Sounds more like extend it and pretend it.

    More gardens built on, more destruction of vegetable patches and wild life.

    More shoddy patching up of properties that are structurally past it.

    A huge quantity of the UK housing stock is Victorian era and as such have NO insulation in the walls or floor and are expensive to run, many of these old properties are also damp as they have no damp course. Never mind though, we will just rent these out to the next generation as they are not worthy of modern well designed and insulated homes.

    When we sold our first house, I was a little perplexed at how the house across the road sold for £5k more than ours, upon closer inspection their house had a substantial extension that would have cost £££ to build.

    On the whole "And crucially, how much can we add to the value of our homes by adding extra floorspace?"

    You will be making a loss outside London., but I daresay like everything else in the UK the entire program will be based in London, be about londerners extending their damp basement flat into the garden for £500k.

    Would love to see a program where regular folk can build their modest dream home for under £150k in various parts of the country without fighting planners and NIMBYS.

    + 1 !

    I watched episode 2 last night (on PVR, couldn't bother with iPlayer for episode 1).

    Very basic stuff, very small extensions, on tiny plots. BBC's very patronising tone, like BBC's worst, like in "The One Show" or "BBC News at Six".

    On the other hand, those two couples seemed happy with their lot, somehow! Sad. Though they are happy! I'm (actually) confused now. :unsure:

    They could have so much more, for much less money, but they don't know it, so... they are happy! Ignorance is bliss, eh? :blink:


  5. Weird. Poll result has been stuck on exactly 50/50 for... too long.

    Have they cancelled it?

    Because we were campaigning for it, and in a few hours the results switched from 55/45 against building to 55/45 in favour of it?? :unsure:

    But the CPRE was campaigning before us, and the Guardian didn't bother with it.


    Should green belt land be used for housing?

    50% Yes

    50% No

  6. Hard to comment without seeing the underlying model but 3 points occur:

    1. 20% is still a big imbalance in the market.

    2. The 20% is the nationwide figure, there have been big falls outside of the SE but the SE has maintained it's value, hence the imbalance is now geographically concentrated.

    3. You need to look at what you get for your money. Rents and prices can be in balance but if you're paying massive rents on substandard properties you've still got a big problem.

    I was going to reply to him with your argument 2.

    But I had forgotten about the argument 3. This may be our worst problem: house sizes, and quality. Most other developed countries have much better houses than ours. We are not comparing apples with apples. I wish we had data comparing average price per square meter.

  7. Someone called Colin Wiles has posted a good comment, and, judging from his avatar, he's a Guardian contributor.

    Looking at his posting history throws up some other nice reads...


    He is good! :)

    The numbers are correct and I did not suggest that development is evenly spread. Of course people want to live in the south east and close to urban centres, jobs and transport links. But there is still plenty off land as any flight over south and eastern England will confirm. It just seems overcrowded because we are hemmed into urban areas and into the transport corridors that connect them. Perhaps you think we should start exporting people to the north, or not allow them to live in the places they grew up in? This is the Simon Jenkins' line and it's getting close to social cleansing.
  8. Would that not make sense?

    People on zero hours contracts, whose income is variable but who have to pay fixed costs per month. Borrow from Wonga* in a thin month and hope to work enough hours and therefore earn enough money the next month to repay the Wonga loan and pay that month's fixed costs. If not, borrow more money from Wonga.

    A good proportion of workers on zero hours contracts are young i.e. under 25 (though not everyone).

    *Other payday loan providers are available.

    Yep, quite.

  9. 4 recent tweets by Faisal Islam ‏@faisalislam

    2h ago

    I asked Damelin if wonga knew how many customers were on benefits, and he said they typically were not


    Next retweet of @ChrisLeslieMP is out of intrigue rather than endorsement, re Wonga: opposition calling UK economy a "wonga recovery"


    This #wongarecovery thing strikes me as difficult territory for Labour, given proximate cause of wonga use is v high housing costs for young


    Based on my conversations with wonga execs ... Their understanding of their customers is young working people squeezed (I assume by rents)..

  10. This is not a reasonable view:

    Once again, building anything on greenbelt = an implicit assumption that this entails "concreting over all the green fields". It's a straw man and it's complete nonsense. If we need 1 million homes, it is under 4% of existing stock. Much could go on appropriately-place brownfields too. But not all imo.

    + 1

    In fairness, I've yet to come across a NIMBY who would oppose that. The trouble is, that never seems to be the option...

    True, and it's our planning system's fault. Only big developers get access to building land.

  11. So how do you place planning restrictions on a liberated planning system?!?

    How do you make sure serviced plots are acquired by those wanting a home rather then another investment? How do you place time limits for building on the land? Speculators could acquire these plots and hoard them... their land their freedom to do what they want against market driven initiative.

    Mass Self building is a nice idea but imo a tad simplistic, and open to all manners of 'entrepreneurial' abuse.

    It is the other way round. It is OUR system that it is abnormal. See my old post below.

    Why? Here only huge builders can overcome our planning restrictions. Reduce these, and the big companies can't compete with small local builders and self builders.


    " Proportion of all homes delivered by self build, by country "


    "in most western nations self-build accounts for just over half of all new homes, while in the UK the figure is just 15%"

    Source: http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/community/blogs/spec-housebuilders-are-unique-to-the-uk

    Original source: Gov's "Housing Strategy" 2011, PDF, page 14: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/2033676.pdf


    Why do we need big building companies and Councils to deliver our homes?

    Why can't we do like most people in most other countries do: Buy a plot, hire an architect and a builder, and have a custom made home built for us??

  12. Quite a few youngsters will have voted 'No' - coating NIMBYism with an environment-friendly veneer was a clever little trick...


    Tragic how so many lefties and greens fell / still fall for it.

    The photo on that Guardian article is typical, with a "pretty, delicate flower soon to be 'concreted over' "...

    Even ignoring the fact that gardens would have much more bio-diversity than pastures.

  13. BBC new program: Plan It, Build It.


    BBC One - Daily at 11:45

    Repeat on BBC Two - Daily at 07:50

    10 daily episodes, hence 2 weeks, started yesterday, Monday morning.

    Already on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039sg4d

    (I haven't watched yet, I'll watch later.)

    Episode 1 of 10: Growing Pains

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Which of us hasn't longed for a little more living space? An extra bedroom, a big open-plan kitchen, a luxury en-suite bathroom... But how difficult is it to add an extension?

    We all know it takes money, determination, and a well thought-out master plan. But there's one more crucial thing - before we can turn our domestic dreams into reality, we need to get permission from the Planners.

    So what innovative and interesting ideas are British homeowners coming up with to increase their living space? How much are they putting aside to pay for their extensions, and how often are planning applications refused by the planners? And crucially, how much can we add to the value of our homes by adding extra floorspace?

    This series follows homeowners across the country as they Plan it, Build it.

    Planners are being inundated with applications from families desperate to increase the sizes of their homes. The Arnolds live in East Dulwich and have a small son, with another baby on the way as well. They desperately want planning permission to open up their kitchen and turn their home into the perfect family friendly living space. However this involves filling in their side return - something that might adversely affect their neighbours' outlook. They have a budget of 60 thousand pounds - how much extra space will that buy them?

    It is not just families with new babies who need more space. More and more young adults are financially unable to fly the nest and need extra room in their parents' homes. Ed White wants to create a suite for daughter Hannah. Ed's got an impressive model railway, which runs like clockwork - but when it comes to planning approval, everything is coming off the rails.

  14. Yesterday, just before I started this thread, IIRC the poll was around 45% Yes, and 55% No. Then soon after it reverted, to 55% Yes, and 45% No. Perhaps it was a consequence of this Forum readers voting? Well, if so, it was short lived. The "Yes" surge lost power, and have been falling for a while, sadly. (See below the current results.) It appears that the older NIMBY owners are indeed more organised and vocal than the younger renting tenants.


    Should green belt land be used for housing?

    51% Yes

    49% No

    Poll closes in 2 days

  15. Another excellent comment under that Guardian article, pasted below:



    02 September 2013 8:11pm

    My wife and I live in exile because housing in the U.K. is too expensive on our small pensions.Our house in Sweden cost one tenth of what it would be in the U.K. and our running costs are less than council tax alone would be.

    When one is outside looking in the U.K. looks like an insane asylum.


    Link: http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/poll/2013/aug/30/green-belt-land-housing-poll?CMP=twt_gu

  16. How do you prevent them from being slurped up by retiree downsizers and as 2nd homes for bankers?

    The local farm stockman on 15K will be priced out every time. He's still going to be stuck living in a mobile home with his kids travelling 10 miles to school everyday and no public transport.

    There has to be some penalty for owning a property you are not using fully - so that demand reduces and local families can start to have a basic standard of living on rural salaries and schools / public transport start to become viable again.

    We've lived in two villages in last 8 years. The first there was 2 families in a village of 100+ houses, the current one there are 4 families in a village of 30+ houses.

    The only investment is in local doctor surgeries and mini-hospital facilities. No playgrounds or schools or bus stops.

    All the properties that would have been used by local families have been bought by retired police, teachers etc. from London. So all the properties are 350K+ as that's what these people net from selling up.

    So we have this perversity where a non-managerial retired public servant can pay off a 350K house at 55, replace their car every couple of years and live comfortably on a pension in a rural village - taking several foreign holidays a year.

    But the local farm worker whose wife works part-time and whose income tax is paying for the pensions of everyone else living in the village - has to subsist in a mobile home and run two cars, because nobody else needs public transport, and commutes 50+ miles everyday as all the schools have closed.

    If you build more - the prices will still be the same - as there are millions of boomers who want to live rurally and 100Ks of high earners in cities who want a weekend getaway.

    There is a 5-bed family house down the road that was <200K 20 years ago. It's on the market for 650K, the boomers who own it have had it on the market for 6 years - they won't budge on the price. They use one bedroom. They have another house abroad which they live in for 6 months of the year. 20 yards from the house there are families of 5 renting 2 bedrooms.

    I fully agree that a wiser tax system would help. But liberating planning can also help, and has other advantages. In countries without our planning restrictions the price bubble caused a construction boom, and in a few years the extra supply, millions of new homes, brought prices back down, like in the USA, Spain, Ireland. Germany also has a very efficient and liberal planning policy, and consequently their houses are not only cheaper, but much better and bigger than ours. Just allow the market to work properly, and build as much as needed, until prices come down, to near building costs (£1k/m2 plus a serviced plot).

    I have a question for you though. Many here, me included, agree with the tax argument. But why are you so opposed to new builds? Besides more houses = homes, they would even generate more (local) jobs. Why are you against it? What is the negative side of new houses = homes?


  17. +1

    Concreting Barratt estates everywhere which no one wants or can even afford isn't the answer.

    The argument against would be giving individuals the right to self build en-mass, however what's to stop 2nd homers or landlords doing the same, or even land speculators? You can't argue for liberal planing then enforce restrictions on said liberal planning. The existing stock needs utilising better first, along with the required infrastructure (which new homes would need anyway).

    Unfortunately nothing will change until houses start becoming homes again, no matter how many are or are not built.

    There are easy solutions, technically, the problem is political. Why in most other countries most properties are self build? Because there are serviced plots for sale. Self builders can easily out bid the big developers for these plots. Here though, the local authorities don't want to bother with demarcation and servicing of plots, preferring to allow "the market" to buy and develop a huge area, many hectares, including building all roads. Obviously only the big building companies can do that.

  18. What I'm articulating badly is that building more homes just creates more property that probably won't be purchased by locals - or by permanent residents.

    To 'fix' the rural issue you need to make it unattractive to hold property as an investment or as a 2nd residence, holiday let etc.

    Once the property food chain becomes functional again - and families can have a garden, local workers can afford more than a shed, public transport and schools start being needed again - then there is an argument for expansion.

    Cornwall is a typical case, right? But they have vast amounts of empty space around all their villages, towns and cities. That county has a very low population density. So why don't they allow new builds?? Just let the market build as much as needed! And prices will eventually fall, like they did in Spain for instance, another tourist area. Allow plenty of high density near the villages centres, and then plenty of suburb-like developments around them, and then even small holdings further out. Let people build! There is PLENTY OF SPACE, FGS!

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