David McWilliams: Serial objectors are colonising future through Nimbyism

The more we object to development, the more house prices will rise

The future of cities should be determined not just by the people who live there now but by the people who are yet to live there.

The future of cities should be determined not just by the people who live there now but by the people who are yet to live there.

We are in the middle of an epidemic of the “serial objector” virus; the system is on the verge of collapse, with serious – almost unquantifiable – long-term consequences for the future economic health of the nation. Every time there is an objection to a housing development, the cost of housing rises, the housing crisis deepens, and one more young person’s life is blighted by the entitlement of someone else, usually an older person.

Although a worldwide condition, the Irish variant of the “serial objector” virus is particularly virulent. A recent report suggested that the number of housing units in Strategic Housing Developments that have been stalled or blocked by judicial reviews in Dublin last year jumped by more than 1,000 per cent. In Dublin, the number of potential homes stalled by judicial review jumped from 508 in 2019 to a whopping 5,802 in 2020. Meanwhile, there was a seven-fold increase nationwide in these delays.

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