Saturday, November 10, 2007

Referendums might only reinforce NIMBYs

A break in postings because I wandered off to Aberteifi and Cei Newydd. In spite of the November wind and storms the dolphins made an appearance of Cei Newydd. Excellent.
I return home and spot an interesting story about a community referendum on a housing scheme just down the coast. I don't want to comment on the specific scheme because there might be good reason both and/or against the development. But in the age when we are pressing hard for more homes and affordable homes I am not sure that a growth of referendums against development will help.
We seem to be in an age when we can mount campaigns to stop new homes being built but not many specific campaigns in favour of specific sites and projects. The climate is not easy and could make it difficult for the One Wales government to deliver their target for affordable homes.


Alwyn ap Huw said...

I was one of only 36 residents to vote "for" the development.

The referendum was called, and had to be paid for by the local community council, because 10 residents petitioned for it under some obscure clause of a local government act. I have no objection to the idea that residents can petition for a referendum but the idea that so few names are needed to force such expense on a small parish council is daft. Surely the petition should be called by a minimum of say 5% of the electors.

The problem with the referendum in Glan Conwy (and similar referendums) is that the split in the village isn't between those who are dead against the building plans and those who are fervently in favour. The split is between those who are dead against the development and those who don't care if the houses are built or not. In these circumstances the don't care's wont vote and the antis will have a "landslide" victory every time but, as happened here, on a very low turnout.

Martin Eaglestone said...

Diolch and an interesting comment from the "coal face" of the referendum.

It is an issue I may follow up with Assembly collegaues given the likely opposition that will be found even to some affordable housing projects (I know this was not that type but it still has some relevance).