NIMBYism is holding rural communities back, poll finds

A new poll finds just 19% believe objectors have a positive impact on the British countryside
A new poll finds just 19% believe objectors have a positive impact on the British countryside

NIMBYism is holding rural communities back, with just 19% of people believing those who object to development have a positive impact on the countryside.

A poll of more than 1,000 people living in rural areas found that a lack of affordable rural housing is the most important issue, beating the cost of living crisis.

Nearly 60% of respondents ranked it among their top two most pressing issues, with the higher cost of living compared to urban areas coming second and the lack of rural jobs third.

Less than a fifth said NIMBYs had a positive impact, with 46% saying they had a negative impact and 23% neither positive or negative.

A majority (53%) said rural areas need to build more homes to provide affordable housing, versus 36% against.

More than half (55%) also support additional homes being built in their own community, with 35% not in favour.

The poll was undertaken by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and Survation.

CLA President Victoria Vyvyan said rural communities up and down the country were 'crying out' for affordable housing.

She said: “Nobody wants to concrete over the countryside, least of all us, but for decades governments of all colours have treated it as a museum, risking the sustainability of communities and failing to generate the conditions necessary for growth.

"A small number of homes must be built in a large number of villages to provide housing for young people and families, to provide workers for local businesses and keep shops, schools and other facilities open.

“Central government and local authorities alike need to start having some ambition for the rural economy, and that starts with saying the needs of the whole rural economy are more important than the desires of small groups of campaigners refusing to accept the need for change.”

The poll comes as the CLA, which represents nearly 27,000 farmers and landowners, published a blueprint setting out how the government can help unlock the full potential of the rural economy.

One of the six documents, or missions, focuses on housing and makes a series of recommendations to help solve shortages.