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"Nimbys" to blame for affordable housing shortage?

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: February 11, 2009

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Andrew George MP

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A CORNISH MP has rejected claims that the lack of affordable housing in the south west is a result of nimbyism.

Andrew George said that the affordable housing shortage in Cornwall could not be linked with a "not in my back yard" attitude in the county.

The South West Housing Initiative has claimed that a nimby attitude to new housing developments had led to the lack of affordable homes.

Mr George said that this was not the case in Cornwall and has long argued that large scale development in the Duchy is not the right way to deliver affordable housing.

Last October he met with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears MP, to urge the Government not to press ahead with plans to force 70,000 new homes on Cornwall over the next 20 years.

In his response to the regional spatial strategy Mr George highlighted that Cornwall has been one of the fastest growing areas over the last 40 years but its affordable housing problem had increased.

He said: "If there is one thing that Cornwall cannot by accused of it is nimbyism. For the last 40 years only Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire have grown faster. Our housing stock has more than doubled but our housing problems have got worse.

"Allowing Cornwall to carry on being a developers' paradise will do nothing to help the deep seated housing problems of locals."

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  • caroclemens  |  November 12 2012, 11:02PM

    It is nothing to do with nimbyism. Cornwall has had faster population growth than all but a handful of counties adjoining London and all because of speculative house building that has nothing to do with local needs. Now Cornwall Council, in its mathematically challenged wisdom, has voted for a developer's bonanza that includes something in the order of 5% of the houses for Cornish needs. More numb-skulls that nimbies in that outfit, I suspect.

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  • cweatherhill  |  October 17 2012, 9:20PM

    Truly local people have no problem with modest development which is totally affordable local-needs housing. The real NIMBYism in this Duchy was aptly illustrated at Carbis Bay where such a scheme was fierecly opposed by second-home owners and recent in-migrants. And, before the usual suspects use this fact to have a go at me, the objections remain on record for anyone to see.

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    Catalyst, Cornwall  |  February 13 2009, 12:28PM

    What about those not interested in buying? I spent over 4 years homeless (with partner and kids) in temporary accomodation before we got suitable housing. There are so many other families in this situation. We do need more 'social' housing but for local people only. I hear too many stories of people moving into the county and getting a home ahead of locals. The system is designed to protect the 'vulnerable' but it's totally mad. Whenever they build new social housing, it seems to get filled with the worst tenants! I think it's because the rules make it too easy for this type of person to climb to the top of the list quickly. Sorry, got myself started... Despite working and having a reasonable wage, there is no way I could afford what's currently priced as 'affordable'. Frankly I don't care. My rent isn't as high as private tenants (who I feel really sorry for) and if my roof leaks it gets sorted at no cost to me. Anyway, we don't need more housing (they just get bought by second homers or people coming to the county to retire). But we do need to find social housing to help those thousands of families in need of housing.

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    Carol Sell, Truro  |  February 13 2009, 11:47AM

    I think it is probably time for a different view. I left school at 16 (am 32 now), with little qualifications, worked all the hours god sent, and probably a few more at the expense of going out, having kids, etc etc in order to be able to pracase my own house, which I did before I was 30. I now rent a bedroom in the house, which pays part of my mortgage, and enables me to have a litle bit of freedom finally, although I still scrimp and save my extra pennies. The amount of people my age I know who moan about not being able to afford a house, but are in the pub at weekends drinking, have a takeaway once a week, who smoke....or at the age of 18 made a decision to have kids you would not believe. Then cry foul when they can't afford to buy something. Personally I made something of myself, worked hard, and have never claimed a penny of government money in my life. I am not saying this as a "look at me", but I am saying that instead of complaining you can't afford to buy, get a 2nd and/or 3rd job...I did.

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    Wyllieboy, Pendeen  |  February 13 2009, 9:55AM

    It is true that there is enough housing in Cornwall for everyone. Sadly much of it is in the hands of people who live elsewhere and only use their home for three or four weeks a year. There is a more straightforward solution to the problem. The last Tory administration did away with the right for the rent officer to limit rents in the private sector. They also did away with security of tenure for tenants in the private sector. There needs to be the political will to tax second homes at a punitive level, give the Rent Officer Service the authority to limit rents and re introduce proper security of tenure for private tenants. We would then end the ridiculous specticle of impoverished families desperatly seeking social housing to enable them to improve their economic circumstances. Go on Andrew George do something useful and introduce a private members bill to enable this change.

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    CarbonBoot, The Duchy Of Cornwall  |  February 13 2009, 9:14AM

    THERE IS NO RESIDENTIAL HOUSING SHORTAGE IN THE DUCHY OF CORNWALL TO MEET THE ORGANIC DEMOGRAPHIC NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE OF THE DUCHY OF CORNWALL.

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    CarbonBoot, The Duchy Of Cornwall  |  February 13 2009, 9:11AM

    Mixed methods,Dooby Duckling. Backup is essential when jousting with the censors at the Northcliffe Media Monopoly. Of course, as a repeated producer of censor pleasing unwitty one-liners, you may not have need of backup. And in any case, if you did you may be at risk of drowning in your cornflakes.

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    CarbonBoot, The Duchy Of Cornwall  |  February 12 2009, 4:48PM

    It all depends on the mood of the Northcliffe Media censors of the day,Dooby Duckling. As you may have kernowticed, they can get hyperactive from time to time... Back-up, as you may kernow, is rarely wasted.

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    Dooby Duck, Cornwall, SW England  |  February 12 2009, 2:14PM

    Carbootsale - do you type this every time or do you just copy and paste? I do hope it's the latter...

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    jane, truro  |  February 11 2009, 7:52PM

    i completely agree with the above!!! i live just by a council housing area, and even tho everyday there are articles stating that there are no houses, there are many on my estate that have no one in and have been empty for over 6months, they need to fill the empty houses that they have first!!!

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