Monday, 26 February 2007

They're making houses unaffordable over there too

Housing unaffordability isn't just an issue here in NZ, it's a problem worldwide -- or at least in those cities worldwide in which planners have locked up land, regulated its use, and forced people to live in the way that planners have decreed they live. A British think tank has now published a major study into the effects of the planning system on the UK economy:
The Best Laid Plans: How planning prevents economic growth.
In three previous publications the report's authors, Alan W. Evans and Dr Oliver Marc Hartwich, have shown that most of the problems with the housing market - low supply, high prices, overcrowding - can be attributed to the planning system. They conclude in this report that the main objective of planning has been to limit the spatial extent of cities and that this artificial reduction of land supply has severe consequences for society, the environment and the economy.
You can download the report here [PDF].

LINKS: The Best Laid Plans: How planning prevents economic growth - Policy Exchange [52-page PDF]
Message to planners: "Don't fence me in!" - Not PC
'Sustainable' cities are unaffordable cities - Not PC

RELATED POSTS ON: Sprawl, Housing, Urban Design, Politics-UK, Sustainability


  1. The message might be sinking in. On Breakfast this morning the PM mentioned the RMA (briefly) as one of the problems.

    No doubt the "solution" will be an RMA exemption solely for state-owned ghettoes of the future but at least the "RMA is at fault" idea has surfaced.

  2. I spent 2 years working amongst planners in a major regional authority in the mid-60's.

    Whenever one of the many private residential subdivision requests came in for comment from the local authority, these planners would chortle with glee that the application could be declined because of the many "restraints" dreamed up by these little Hitlers: These were for instance 1. encroaching on farm land, 2. too close to the airport, 3.low lying areas with bad drainage, 4. building on the surrounding hills would spoil the skyline for those living on the flat; etc etc.

    The whole process was just a game to see how much housing development could be stymied. I left my engineering job at this authority sickened by the attitude of the planners, playing their little game with people's development ambitions.

    It was the rigid artificial "urban fence" concept that seemed to justify their professional lives, even back then well before the RMA.


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