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2014-12-04    来源:新东方    【      托福雅思口语高分过



Nimble opposition

A new study confirms suspicions about what drives planning decisions

ON A road called Glyders, in Benfleet, east of London, it looks as though every house is on the market. But the crucial words “for sale” are missing from the estate agents'signs, and have been replaced with “RAGE:Residents Against Glyders Expansion”. The locals are protesting against plans to build 35 new homes on farmland at the end of their road. “Look how narrow this road is,” says Susan Baillie, whose husband, Robert, runs the campaign. “It will never cope with the additional traffic.” The Baillies organised the signs, which are sponsored by the estate agent. The irony seems lost on the residents.
在Glyders,这个位于伦敦东部本弗利特的一条大街上,每一间房屋似乎都在等待它的买主。但是房屋中介的招牌上却偏偏缺少重要字眼“待售”,取而代之的是“暴怒:当地居民拒绝Glyders 的扩大。”当地人抗议在这条街道末端的农田上建造35 栋新屋的计划。“请看看这条街有多窄,”苏珊贝利如是说,而她的丈夫罗伯特正是这次抗议行动发起人。“它负担不起额外的交通了。”贝利想到利用招牌,这一举措得到了房屋中介的大力支持。讽刺的是此举会导致住户的流失。

Local opposition to new housing developments is common across Britain. It has long been argued that such opposition — NIMBYism to its critics — is linked to home ownership. Homeowners, unlike distant landlords, vote in local elections and receive planning consultations in their postboxes. They lose out from development in multiple ways. Loss of green space reduces their quality of life and increased supply of housing suppresses prices. Landlords managing diversified portfolios are less exposed to the value of one property. The idea that planning decisions are driven by the desire of homeowners to maximise house prices is known as the “ home-voter hypothesis”.

On October 24th the Institute for Government, a think-tank, released a study supporting this theory with data. It looked at English local planning authorities (LAs) between 2001 and 2011 and found that for every additional ten percentage points in the proportion of homes that are owner-occupied, 1.2 percentage points were knocked off growth in the housing stock. Average growth was 8.8%, so the effect was marked. The authors are cautious about making a causal claim,but the correlation was observed after controlling for the number of planning applications and the amount of available land. A rough calculation suggests that, without the NIMBY effect, one million more homes would have been built during the period.
在10 月24 日,智库政府研究所(IFG)公布了一项佐以数据支撑此次理论的研究。通过2001到2011 年对英国地方规划局的观察发现,屋主自用的房屋占所有房屋比例中每增加10 个百分点,住房存量的增长就会下跌1.2 个百分点。平均增长是8.8%,所以此种现象的影响是显而易见的。至于是否可以得出两者存在因果关系的结论,作者持保留态度。但是在控制了规划申请和可用土地的数量后,相关效果还是很容易看到的。若不考虑邻避效应,一项粗略计算表明,在2001 至2011 年间大约有逾一百万栋房屋建成。

That would have helped alleviate an acute shortage of British housing. In 2004, a government report by Kate Barker, an economist, found that 240,000 new homes were needed every year. Only 138,000 homes were built in 2013. Due to the shortfall, houses are eye-wateringly expensive and,since 1952, home ownership has become a more distant prospect for almost every new generation (see chart).
这将有助于缓和英国紧张的住房短缺问题。在2004 年,经济学家凯特巴克做出了一份政府报告,发现每年所需住房数为24 万。而仅有13.8 万栋房屋在2013 年建成。由于房屋稀缺,房屋的价格也是极其昂贵的,自1952 年以来,房屋所有权已经变成了每个新一代人更加遥远的追求。

In a book released in September, Ms Barker argues that England's planning system is fragmented and slow. LAs are required to have a medium-term plan which meets targets for development agreed with central government. But both the overall plan and individual developments can be held up. LAs find it difficult to work together on proposals which cross boundaries, and vacillate on whether to build on brownfield land, which has old buildings on it, or greenfield sites, which developers prefer. The green belt around many towns constrains development. And locals see few of the fiscal benefits from new homes, so there is little incentive for them to build.
在9 月份发表的书中,巴克表示,英国的规划系统如今零散又低效。各个当地规划局(LAs)都要求一个能符合中央政府批准的发展目标的中期计划。但总体规划和个体发展都会被阻断。LAs 发现那些跨界的提案很难兼并施行,所以踌躇着是要在棕色地带推到旧宅筑新房还是在那些开发商钟爱的市郊绿区盖房子。许多城镇城市绿化带的存在约束着发展。当地人也在新房屋建设中看不到些许财政利益,因此,他们根本没有建造房屋的动力。

Thankfully, public attitudes are shifting. Rising house prices used to be celebrated as a sign of economic strength; now, most see expensive homes as bad for Britain. Politicians are responding:both big parties have promised more building.

This shift is not on display in Benfleet, which is part of a local authority—Castle Point—with the joint highest rate of home ownership in the country. Admiring the view from one resident's garden,it is hard not to sympathise with the local campaign. But every home was a newbuild once, and the costs of the housing shortage are not visible from an Essex garden.
此种转变并未出现在本弗利特, 它是卡斯尔波恩特(英国国会选区)的一部分,而且在乡下有着房屋所有权的高联合率。从一居民的花园外眺风景,你会感觉很难不同情当地抗议运动。但若是这里的每一处房屋都是一次建成,那么从埃克斯花园向外环望,很难看出住房短缺的损失。

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