The Federation of Master Builders

Two-thirds of Welsh NIMBYs worried about house prices

Published date: 15 November 2017

Two-thirds of NIMBYs in Wales admit to being frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy their own home, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s UK-wide research into NIMBYs (‘not-in-my-back-yarders’), or in other words people who tend to take an anti-development view to new homes being built in their area, include:

  • Across Wales, two-thirds (65%) of home owners who are concerned about new houses or flats being built in their community also admit to feeling frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy a property in the local area;
  • Nearly one third (28%) of Welsh home owners are concerned about houses or flats being built in their community having a negative impact on where they live;
  • Half (49%) of Welsh people feel frustrated their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren cannot afford to buy a property in the same area as them;
  • More than one third of home owners in England are NIMBYs whereas only one fifth of home owners in Northern Ireland take this attitude. The percentage of home owners that are NIMBYs in each home nation is as follows:
  • England (34%)
  • Scotland (29%)
  • Wales (28%)
  • Northern Ireland (21%)

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It is no secret that we are currently building fewer new homes than we need to be to meet housing need. The Welsh Government has acknowledged this and has set a target of delivering 20,000 affordable homes and bringing 5,000 empty properties back into use during this term of Government. However, one thing that often blocks the delivery of new homes is the disproportionate power of the ‘not-in-my-back-yard-ers’ - the NIMBYs. In recent years, more and more NIMBY groups have become active in their use of social media and online petitions in bids to block often vital new housing developments in their area. They put themselves forward as the spokespeople for their communities in planning consultations, regardless of how few people they might, in reality, represent.”

Elizabeth Vaughan from South Wales, aged 52 is concerned about overdevelopment in her area. She said "My main concern about building more and more new homes is the impact which building on the Greenbelt will have on our wildlife. I believe that building on the Greenbelt and green areas should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. I do understand our children and children’s children will need somewhere to live, but we have so many brownfield sites in Wales. We have an obligation to build on brownfield first, before harming any wildlife unnecessarily."

Berry responded: “It is ironic that two thirds of the NIMBYs in Wales have admitted to being frustrated about the difficulty young people can have in buying a home, yet are concerned that these new houses will negatively impact where they live. Of all the home nation’s NIMBYs, those in Wales are most likely to also bemoan the inability of the next generation to buy a property nearby. In this sense, our new research points to a real contradiction in what many people say they want. The FMB hopes this will be helpful in reminding people that we just cannot have it both ways. Either we must begin to accept that we need to significantly increase the output of new homes in Wales or frustrations will continue to rise about the difficulties younger generations have in getting on the property ladder.”

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