AKA Nimby or not Nimby, that is the question.
So I have a couple of moral dilemmas to face about my home. There are 300 houses planned for a field behind my house, not social housing, those that a developer will make a handsome profit on and double the local population. It’s actually adjacent to the field behind my house, so not quite in my back yard, more like down the field and on the left. It will though have a real impact on the area while they are being built and afterwards in terms of need for school places, traffic and the likes.
The other dilemma I have is my next door neighbour wants to evict a large tree from his back garden, a tree that has stood since before I was born and is twice the height of my house. He says he had the tree inspected and it has some type of internal unseen damage that will deem it unsafe soon if not already.
The immediate response is obvious. NIMBYism, cut the tree down and protest at the housing plans and the disturbance of my semi rural idyll. But…..
We have a city, a county and country in desperate need for new housing, and the shortage leads to prices at premium for both house purchase and house rental. In a time of severe austerity and many claims and counter claims made over who caused what and where we are heading, it’s obvious to a layman like me that more housing will bring down costs of said housing or their rental by simple economics such as supply and demand. This will also free up spare cash for those renting and make housing more affordable for those on the housing ladder. Personally, what it will also undoubtedly do is bring down my own house value as the new houses will be just that, new. They will have fully fitted kitchens, central heating, 10 year guarantees, indeed all a buyer wants whereas my house is like me, up to the job but middle aged and creaking a little.It will spoil my view somewhat as green fields will be prettier than red bricks. However I have got my house, I worked hard and got on that ladder 20 years ago when prices were more sensible and could be afforded on 3x your salary systems before debt was sold and leveraged ad infinitum, I lived in this house before central heating. When we had just a gas fire and metal framed windows failing to retain any heat in the Winter. For those reasons and others I will not object to the plans, it will also give the local children an influx of new characters to play with on the football pitches, who knows we may even get a local pub and shop thriving again one day.No idea is perfect but the plans are a bit like my house, indeed like most things in life….
On the other hand that tree, it predates me, for all I know it could be 100 years old, I do not even know what make and model it is, but it’s really big. I am not a Tree Surgeon so I am unaware of the severity of its condition. I plan to find out and oppose its removal if at all possible. It obscures my view, it shades the Summer sun, it covers much of my garden in Winter when it drops it’s leaves but it is also a reminder of the beauty of nature. Birds nest there, roost there at night, then there is the effect on the atmosphere in an over polluted world. It’s just one tree and I will have to defer if a report comes back saying my house could be crushed if it stays and falls in a gale. I may miss the old lump of wood but I wouldn’t like it sat beside me in the living room.