David McWilliams: Want to find the cause of the housing crisis? Look in the mirror

Individuals opposing planning applications drive up house prices and make land scarce

'We live in a ‘Banana’ Republic – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.' Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

'We live in a ‘Banana’ Republic – Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.' Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Let’s look at the housing shortage through the lens of planning permission objections. We rarely think about the impact on house prices of individuals or groups of individuals opposing planning permission.

Each objection may be legitimate but, in the aggregate, planning objections have a knock-on effect on the availability and cost of housing. Indeed, the trade-off between individual rights and the collective good, so evident when planning restrictions are sought via objections, goes to the very heart of macroeconomics.

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