Boris on ‘Nimbies in Disguise’


“Nimbies in disguise” are dishonestly claiming to care about architecture when in reality they want to block any development, Boris Johnson has said.

In a scathing assessment, the Mayor of London said homeowners “pretend” they care about new homes being affordable or well-designed, in fact they simply oppose new developments entirely.

Mr Johnson has promised to increase house-building in the capital, and wants to see 45,000 new homes by 2018.

However, he says he his efforts have been frustrated by residents opposed to any new development.

There is a particularly bitter planning fight over plans to build 700 flats on the site of a Royal Mail sorting office at Mount Pleasant, North London. Planning opponents say the scheme is “bland” and too few of the homes are “affordable”.

But Mr Johnson told the BBC: “Very often in London what you see is people objecting to a scheme purportedly because they say it fails such-and-such an architectural criteria, it’s not beautiful enough, or something like that. Or they say there isn’t enough affordable housing.

“I think it is odd that people actually try to stop developments going ahead. I think of the amazing development at Deptford [south east London] – that’s been blocked for twenty years.

“You have a coalition of people who pretend to be in favour of such-and-such a thing – better architecture or whatever – and what they want is no building in their area. You’ve got nimbies in disguise. That is very often the problem.”

Mr Johnson said cautioned wealthy foreigners against treating London property as “bank accounts in the sky”, saying the market is not “a one way bet”.

There are “signs of softening” at the top of the market, he said. The number of vacant properties in the capital is at its lowest level since the 1970s, he added.



2 thoughts on “Boris on ‘Nimbies in Disguise’

  1. Birdham Village Residents Association have successfully contested a application to build 46 homes within the Chichester Harbour AONB. The developer tried to argue that this was not a major development, and so not need to tested against NPPF para 116. The developers fall back position was should the Inspector consider this was a major decision, then lack of a 5 year housing supply should be considered sufficient justification to allow the application.

    The inspectors decision is available on our web site

    Laurie Pocock Chairman BVRA

  2. Boris is an arse and Tory MPs are the first to contest major developments if they appear on ‘their’ patch – look at those in the HS2 corridor!

    Who cares if they are “nimbies in disguise”. A developer needs to bring their A Game for major developments. They need to do their due diligence, build their evidence base, do their public engagement and make bloody well sure that the development is the best it can be.

    Too often developers are lazy or greedy, haven’t done their homework or put in the extra effort needed to convince those that can be convinced. If they ignore things that can and should have been addressed then who cares if it is a NIMBY or somebody who just wants to see the best development for their area.

    When it comes down to it ‘public opinion’ doesn’t hold much weight in the planning system, especially if a developer is willing to push such developments to appeal when local politicians are swayed by such sentiment without having the back-up of valid planning considerations for refusal.

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