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A Tweet From The Cpre - Campaign To Protect Rural England

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See below a recent tweet from the worst NIMBY lobby group, the CPRE - Campaign to Protect Rural England, campaigning for a Guardian poll re. "green" belt:

____________________________________________

CPRE ‏@CPRE 4m

Should green belt land be used to meet housing need? Have your say in this poll via @guardian http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/poll/2013/aug/30/green-belt-land-housing-poll?CMP=twt_gu

___________________________________________

I think we should vote too, and campaign as well. The new generations need houses as well!

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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See below a recent tweet from the CPRE - Campaign to Protect Rural England, campaigning for a Guardian poll re. green belt:

____________________________________________

CPRE ‏@CPRE 4m

Should green belt land be used to meet housing need? Have your say in this poll via @guardian http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/poll/2013/aug/30/green-belt-land-housing-poll?CMP=twt_gu

___________________________________________

I think we should vote too, and campaign as well.

This comment pretty much sums up my own view:

newbolddesign

02 September 2013 11:38am

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2

Just how ‘sustainable’ are the green corsets that the planners have spent decades erecting around our towns and villages and that these voices are now defending? Should we really be continuing to support the planners’ meddling in rural development and their misguided attempts at social engineering by using planning policies to prevent villages from expanding as they so obviously did in times gone by? When did grass become so precious?

Sustainable development for Local Authorities seems to mean concentrating all our commercial and retail employers and housing developments around the large towns and cities (where a lot of us do not want to live) while preventing any developments in villages and rural areas where many of us would like to live and work.

It seems that if one has to use a car to get to and from your home, that is not considered to be sustainable. But by that logic, shouldn't many of our villages and hamlets be evacuated forthwith? Many have already been turned into ghost villages by planning policies.

If green campaigners and rural councils think they can continue to use planning policies to force us all to live in towns and cities while preserving our villages in aspic, they are sadly mistaken. What seems to have happened over the last ten years or so is that house prices in villages have soared, as the lack of new development means demand far outstrips supply. The only people who can afford to move there are rich and ageing NIMBYs who don't care about the loss of the local services because for now, they can afford to drive everywhere or use taxis. Most of them can also afford to pay their escalating fuel bills.

As a result, far from being ‘conserved’, our villages have been strangled, ironically in the name of conservation and sustainability, so that their local schools, shops, post offices, pubs and public services become no longer viable. Our increased personal mobility over the last few decades has moved our demand for all these local services from our immediate village neighbourhood to the nearest big school, supermarket, retail park or gastropub.

So the incumbent, comfortable, wealthy, rural NIMBYs have now enlisted the support of conservation bodies like the National Trust to frighten us into thinking that all our precious green spaces are at constant risk of being concreted over. This is clearly nihilistic and selfish nonsense based on ‘we are all right Jack in our rural idyll and the great unwashed can stay in the towns and cities where they belong’. They moan like hell when the local village pub, shop or post office closes but then object to any new development that might just mean that they could have remained viable. These smug rural owner occupiers remind me of the Marx Brothers’ film Horse Feathers in which Groucho sings “whatever it is, I'm against it”

If the conservation groups are really concerned about sustainability, they should see that in rural settlements, social and environmental sustainability go hand in hand, and often require more, not less, development. How sustainable, in any sense of the word, is a settlement where, thanks to a complete lack of new development, the local services have all shrivelled and died and where there is no public transport either so everyone, wealthy or not, has to drive or be driven to shop, to school, to see the doctor, or to go for a drink?

Edited by cheeznbreed

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thanks to a complete lack of new development, the local services have all shrivelled and died and where there is no public transport either so everyone, wealthy or not, has to drive or be driven to shop, to school, to see the doctor, or to go for a drink?

As mentioned in the other greenbelt thread - the lack of rural accommodation and absence of schools/transport are more a result of boomers and 2nd homeowners sitting on property they are not fully utilising.

When property does come available it gets hoovered up by London Boomers downsizing (usually ex-public servants). Like the 2nd homeowners they don't use public transport or need a school or want to work in any of the local jobs.

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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.

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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.

I agree to an extent, but I think the London bubble in prices is facilitating many of these transactions via MEW etc and that when the bubble pops you'll find plenty of people wishing to offload 2nd homes as it will be unattractive.

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Rural communities are dying, either from lack of jobs, young people moving away or because of second home owners.

All of these factors are caused by our planning system.

At some point those living in villages are going to be stuck there when they can't drive and there is no bus service. No one will want to buy their house as there will be no community.

The greenbelts will have to either be loosened or done away with at some point as long as the population is growing.

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Rural communities are dying, either from lack of jobs, young people moving away or because of second home owners.

All of these factors are caused by our planning system.

At some point those living in villages are going to be stuck there when they can't drive and there is no bus service. No one will want to buy their house as there will be no community.

The greenbelts will have to either be loosened or done away with at some point as long as the population is growing.

The retired boomers don't care about the original local community. These villages are turning into posh retirement communities, and that suits them just fine. They then join the CPRE and National Trust, and lobby the country. They even manage to convince the left wing media with pseudo "green" arguments.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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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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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.

+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.

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Just let the market build as much as needed! And prices will eventually fall, like they did in Spain for instance, another tourist area.

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.

Edited by slacker

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+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.

Pure hyperbole. The housing requirements for the UK run to something like 1 million dwellings being required, there are around 27 million dwellings at present. A sub-4% increase, nationwide. Would a village of 100 houses have its character irrepairably damaged if it became 104 houses? I find that hard idea to believe, even if they were all built on greenbelt rather than existing sites within the village.

The brownfield argument is generally a good one, save for a couple of points imo:

1. brownfield land may not be in the right place eg factory closes, is this site the right place to put new homes if the local employment prospects have been reduced?

2. brownfield land costs a lot more to develop, who should pay for the cleanup? Should I pay to clean up the site of the factory my old man worked in while he lives in a greenbelt house?

I don't see how the use of greenbelt can reasonably be ruled out. It's also the case that there is often plenty of infrastructure in the greenbelt- motorways and railways. It could be quite sensible to create a new station on a railway line with houses bulit around it.

Houses will stop being investments when they are cheap and plentiful in supply.

Edited by cheeznbreed

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Ah, I've sent my irony meter for recalibration..:-)

It was not your fault at all. My attempt at a joke was really badly written. And that was my 3rd or 4th version! I think I should accept my limitations, and go back to being a regular nerd.

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+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.

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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?

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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I have a question for you though. Many here, me included, agree 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?

I've got no opposition to new builds - would love to do it myself.

I just think the current circumstances would result in it getting abused and the people that really need it not getting the benefit.

Right now there are too many people who can afford to buy property they don't need as a 2nd home or with 3 beds unused or as a BTL.

This is partly because we've become conditioned to think property always goes up and partly because debt is cheap for anyone above average salary (but prohibitive for anyone below average) or for anyone with existing equity.

You will see this with H2B, the people that actually need it probably won't get a sniff of it, but we'll find out later how it got abused by people that didn't need it.

I'm a child of the Thatcher years - I argued for market economics since I was 10, but it's been a failure. We don't really create an efficient market in anything, we create something biased towards some VI. Everyone else gets screwed.

The reason this happens is because the weight of taxation is on income.

Anyone who becomes asset rich can live for nothing. Contribute nothing. Those assets rarely reduce in value, usually gain equity over time. Many assets generate some income just for possessing them.

All the people that control law and policy and taxation are asset rich or dependant on asset rich contributions. They block any taxation that is not on income and any taxation on assets is usually quickly circumventable with very little punishment if you go to far.

You could argue that life has always been like that, but I don't think it has to the extreme it is currently, not for some time anyway.

The only solution is for assets to have some cost of ownership. And for the majority of the asset value to expire on death through inheritance tax. At the same time give more income back to people in work or living off previously taxed savings.

If we can rebalance taxation so that people working pay less and people who have accumulated wealth have to continue some economic activity to stay wealthy then a lot of these problems will go away.

New builds may help a few people out right now - but most would just further increase the wealth of the current asset owning classes (and if current perversities are a repeating pattern - be subsidised by the working population).

Those asset owning classes are no longer just 'fat bankers' - the boomers who've accumulated wealth through HPI are a big portion of it - they contribute nothing economically, hold a massive share of the housing stock and have disproportionate policy influence through their positions in government, local authorities and on the boards of companies.

The day they lose grip of that policy influence the generation that takes over is going to be very unforgiving. Unfortunately there will be a generation in between who got no benefit from HPI but will get their pensions ransacked by the new kids in power who want some payback for all the debt that got racked up.

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Another excellent comment under that Guardian article, pasted below:

_________________________________________________

blackeyeddog

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

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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

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I've got no opposition to new builds - would love to do it myself.

I just think the current circumstances would result in it getting abused and the people that really need it not getting the benefit.

Right now there are too many people who can afford to buy property they don't need as a 2nd home or with 3 beds unused or as a BTL.

This is partly because we've become conditioned to think property always goes up and partly because debt is cheap for anyone above average salary (but prohibitive for anyone below average) or for anyone with existing equity.

You will see this with H2B, the people that actually need it probably won't get a sniff of it, but we'll find out later how it got abused by people that didn't need it.

I'm a child of the Thatcher years - I argued for market economics since I was 10, but it's been a failure. We don't really create an efficient market in anything, we create something biased towards some VI. Everyone else gets screwed.

The reason this happens is because the weight of taxation is on income.

Anyone who becomes asset rich can live for nothing. Contribute nothing. Those assets rarely reduce in value, usually gain equity over time. Many assets generate some income just for possessing them.

All the people that control law and policy and taxation are asset rich or dependant on asset rich contributions. They block any taxation that is not on income and any taxation on assets is usually quickly circumventable with very little punishment if you go to far.

You could argue that life has always been like that, but I don't think it has to the extreme it is currently, not for some time anyway.

The only solution is for assets to have some cost of ownership. And for the majority of the asset value to expire on death through inheritance tax. At the same time give more income back to people in work or living off previously taxed savings.

If we can rebalance taxation so that people working pay less and people who have accumulated wealth have to continue some economic activity to stay wealthy then a lot of these problems will go away.

New builds may help a few people out right now - but most would just further increase the wealth of the current asset owning classes (and if current perversities are a repeating pattern - be subsidised by the working population).

Those asset owning classes are no longer just 'fat bankers' - the boomers who've accumulated wealth through HPI are a big portion of it - they contribute nothing economically, hold a massive share of the housing stock and have disproportionate policy influence through their positions in government, local authorities and on the boards of companies.

The day they lose grip of that policy influence the generation that takes over is going to be very unforgiving. Unfortunately there will be a generation in between who got no benefit from HPI but will get their pensions ransacked by the new kids in power who want some payback for all the debt that got racked up.

In market economies you don't get shortages you get price hikes. They are essentially the same thing (ignoring inflation of course). So building houses to ease the shortage means exactly the same thing as building to get prices down. Politicians won't say this I course, and many are too stupid to even understand it, but it is the case.

It doesn't matter if every new house goes to an overseas investor, increase the supply you decrease the price, and ease the shortage.

Houses are not magical. There is not infinite demand.

Of course, long-term it might be malinvesment. The demand probably isn't really there. The correct solution, a land value tax, is never going to be acceptable to the iredeemably corrupt members of the House of Commons, nor to the heavily propagandised masses.

Building is the only realistic, politically acceptable solution to the crisis.

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It appears that the older NIMBY owners are indeed more organised and vocal than the younger renting tenants.

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

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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.

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