Homes versus Open Spaces

Dialogue:______read aloud in pairs

A: Do you think that any new home is a step towards solving the problem of homelessness?


B: I believe that planning has to be closely targeted. If you add further stress to an infrastructure which is already overburdened, you can turn a happy neighbourhood into a problematic one. It's like letting too many passengers board a bus.


A: You're saying "there's no room at the inn."


B: Not at all. The Local Authority should not be focused on windfall development. The scale of the problem is too large for that.


A: So you're saying "Not In My Back Yard". You're a NIMBY.


B: There may be some truth in that, but I would caution against an "anything goes" attitude which ignores planning rules such as space standards and results in poor conditions for the occupants and problems for neighbours.


A: Aren't you forgetting how dire it is to be without a home?


B: No, I need to emphasise that the need is for a large number of decent affordable homes. The Council should not be looking for garden grabbing or overdevelopment of every green strip to create city cramming. It needs a larger site.


A: Well, that's difficult to find because we've got the South Downs National Park - a protected area - to the north and the sea to the south.


B: As a matter of fact, the Council are working with a developer to build 1,000 new affordable homes over the next few years, which will be specifically for lower income households in Brighton & Hove. There are suitable sites for the scale of development needed.


A: Yes, and these are in somebody else's back yard. You're a NIMBY. Admit it.

-----© Ted Power