Big Eye, March 20, 2015

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Have your say

The term “An Englishman’s Home is his Castle” wasn’t actually laid down at Runnymede when the Magna Carta was drawn up but I suggest that although it isn’t exactly enshrined in law, we all have an understanding that this is a basic right.

Our homes and our properties are private sanctuaries.

Now, if you are a member of a growing number of groups trying to protect your homes and your immediate environment or you are trying to maintain the countryside around your neck of the woods, you will find that the word NIMBY will be thrown at you by the opposition. It’s intended as a pejorative term, a sneering little insult designed to label you as small-minded, insular and probably selfish too. Not nice!

The Lynn News’ letters page has become a significant local forum for people trying to influence the way the west of Norfolk is being developed and their concern is invariably surrounding Government targets for the council to erect thousands more homes in this area and the fact that the building companies who are lobbying to permit these high-density estates are always keen to use farmland.

The Nimbys are resisting the borough planners who appear to regard building targets as more important than the comfort of those people already living and enjoying life here.

You do not count although your opinion will be garnered at meetings staged during the consultation period because they are required to do this BUT, when it’s time for councillors to meet to decide our fate ... the bigger picture will have to come into play.

The developers know it and they deploy a whole variety of tricks and inducements to ‘encourage’ planners to grant permission to build hundreds of acres of lookey-likey boxes.

“Look here”, they’ll whisper, “let us build on the village green and I’ll knock up a lovely new village hall for nothing ... all you have to do is sign on the dotted line” or they’ll bait the trap with that old chestnut about low-cost housing for local people and then apply for planning in small blocks which fail to reach the threshold for a developer’s legal requirement to provide social housing.

The Nimbys are our last line of defence against greedy building companies who simply see green fields, countryside and a view of a glorious sunset as undeveloped potential.

“Why look at weeds and randomly placed hedgerows when you can plaster it in landscaped trees, tarmac, beige bricks and orange tiles?” Why indeed?

Nimbys! Your time has come! Embrace your narrow-mindedness! Celebrate your lack of vision and your myopic need to maintain the status-quo!

It’s OK to want your lives to stay the same and if you’re accused of denying others a home, just point to the thousands on the market already – if we don’t, we will end up looking like the soulless urban deserts you can find in every other corner of Britain.

This is our land, not theirs, and if we don’t fight them, they’ll take it from us!