A new study confirms suspicions about what drives planning decisions
ON A road called Glyders, in Benfleet, east of London, it looks as though every house is on the market. But the crucial words “for sale” are missing from the estate agents'signs, and have been replaced with “RAGE:Residents Against Glyders Expansion”. The locals are protesting against plans to build 35 new homes on farmland at the end of their road. “Look how narrow this road is,” says Susan Baillie, whose husband, Robert, runs the campaign. “It will never cope with the additional traffic.” The Baillies organised the signs, which are sponsored by the estate agent. The irony seems lost on the residents.
在Glyders，这个位于伦敦东部本弗利特的一条大街上，每一间房屋似乎都在等待它的买主。但是房屋中介的招牌上却偏偏缺少重要字眼“待售”，取而代之的是“暴怒：当地居民拒绝Glyders 的扩大。”当地人抗议在这条街道末端的农田上建造35 栋新屋的计划。“请看看这条街有多窄，”苏珊贝利如是说，而她的丈夫罗伯特正是这次抗议行动发起人。“它负担不起额外的交通了。”贝利想到利用招牌，这一举措得到了房屋中介的大力支持。讽刺的是此举会导致住户的流失。
Local opposition to new housing developments is common across Britain. It has long been argued that such opposition — NIMBYism to its critics — is linked to home ownership. Homeowners, unlike distant landlords, vote in local elections and receive planning consultations in their postboxes. They lose out from development in multiple ways. Loss of green space reduces their quality of life and increased supply of housing suppresses prices. Landlords managing diversified portfolios are less exposed to the value of one property. The idea that planning decisions are driven by the desire of homeowners to maximise house prices is known as the “ home-voter hypothesis”.
On October 24th the Institute for Government, a think-tank, released a study supporting this theory with data. It looked at English local planning authorities (LAs) between 2001 and 2011 and found that for every additional ten percentage points in the proportion of homes that are owner-occupied, 1.2 percentage points were knocked off growth in the housing stock. Average growth was 8.8%, so the effect was marked. The authors are cautious about making a causal claim,but the correlation was observed after controlling for the number of planning applications and the amount of available land. A rough calculation suggests that, without the NIMBY effect, one million more homes would have been built during the period.
在10 月24 日，智库政府研究所(IFG)公布了一项佐以数据支撑此次理论的研究。通过2001到2011 年对英国地方规划局的观察发现，屋主自用的房屋占所有房屋比例中每增加10 个百分点，住房存量的增长就会下跌1.2 个百分点。平均增长是8.8%，所以此种现象的影响是显而易见的。至于是否可以得出两者存在因果关系的结论，作者持保留态度。但是在控制了规划申请和可用土地的数量后，相关效果还是很容易看到的。若不考虑邻避效应，一项粗略计算表明，在2001 至2011 年间大约有逾一百万栋房屋建成。