People want their neighbourhoods to feel like home and must be consultedby Roger Scruton / June 26, 2018 / Leave a comment
It is accepted on all sides that we are not building enough houses to meet the needs of a growing population. Attempts to build new homes meet with mixed success, but it is not fair to characterise opposition to new building as simply “nimbyism.”
People want “beauty in their back yard” because beauty is a symbol of home. Aesthetic harmony is the sine qua non of settlement, and the only firm requirement that must be fulfilled, if people are to live happily with the others whose property they overlook. The search for beauty and the building of community are therefore two aspects of a single process.
Nor is beauty a prerogative of the affluent classes. Aesthetic standards are just as important for social housing and the mixed estates in which private owners, council tenants and tenants of housing associations live side by side—if anything more important, since many residents on the big estates are unable to choose to live in different surroundings.