Fringe Box



Letter: Property Developers Seeking Maximum Profits Are the Problem

Published on: 21 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 20 Dec, 2016

A computer generated image of how the Stag Hill development will look, once constructed

From Olive Edwards

No one would disagree with the need for affordable homes for those trying to set foot on the property ladder. To suggest, however, that ‘NIMBYs’ are to blame for a shortage of such properties is an ill informed point of view.

David Smith, in his letter:Who Is Looking After the Interests of Those Who Wish to Buy Their Own Homes?, talks of “sensitive developments” and this is the real crux of the matter.

Having read the planning applications for the developments mentioned in the letter above as well as comments which both support and object to each, I am of the opinion that most objections relate to the type of development proposed rather than the concept of development as such.

Developers are seeking to maximise profit which they achieve through maximum density, high end priced homes and three storey properties which overlook existing housing. All of these they wish to erect with no thought for the consequences for those in the surrounding community and local infrastructure.

Affordable housing comes at the bottom of their list of priorities and often (as in the case of the proposed cathedral development for example) falls far short of local targets.

To accuse those who object to unsuitable development of Nimbyism seems extremely short sighted and perhaps the spotlight should be turned instead on developers and their quest for profit regardless, and planning departments who seem incapable of applying their own policies in a consistent manner, giving rise to justifiable objections.

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Responses to Letter: Property Developers Seeking Maximum Profits Are the Problem

  1. Peter Skeffington Reply

    December 23, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Developers will always seek to maximise their return from land they buy otherwise they wouldn’t be in the business for long. Most land is sold by landowners on price and developers have to therefore get most out of it to compete. Land supply is the problem and councils and councillors are reluctant to release land being fearful of the Nimby’s at the ballot box.

    The council’s current plan of concentrating development on four major strategic sites, (Wisley, Gosden, Blackwell Farm and Flexford) also will not help affordability as the housebuilders will trickle their new builds out to satisfy their sales rates and will mothball sites in the downturns.

    If the council was serious about helping affordability in the borough they would change course with their spatial strategy and allocate many more smaller/medium sites offering greater supply in the market, driving prices down.

  2. John Perkins Reply

    December 25, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Whilst I agree with the contents of this letter, I disagree with the conclusion in its title. Developers are merely a symptom of the problem.

    Throwing food in a garden will attract rats; throwing money will attract greedy people.

  3. Paul Bishop Reply

    December 31, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Developers build houses to fill demand. If large executive homes are being built and sold, then there is a need for them.

    The people moving into these homes are generally moving up from smaller homes causing the vital movement in the housing market.

    Additionally, large developments can be be very good for variety. The land can be split between a few different house builders (see Horsham as an example) which drives some local competition but also gives a wider range of homes.

    Unfortunately, the reality is we need more homes and the only way to achieve this is to give house builders space to build.

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