In the past two decades, housing construction on the Isle of Man has significantly declined.
It dropped by almost half, going from approximately 400 homes per year in the late 2000s to less than 200 homes per year in recent years.
One major contributing factor to this decline is the emergence of NIMBYs, individuals who oppose construction projects in their neighborhoods, often referred to as ‘Not In My Back Yard.’
However, the situation has worsened during our housing crisis.
A recent report by Isle of Man Newspapers has brought to light a movement aimed at further restricting housing opportunities for Manx families.
Some are now expressing concerns that building homes for people – I was staggered to read – may negatively impact the views from passing steam trains.
This shows that we have moved beyond the NIMBY mindset and entered a new realm, characterised as BANANAs, which stands for ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything’.
The Isle of Man possesses the potential to become a place where thriving communities, families, and lives can be established.
Achieving this potential hinges on our ability to provide sufficient housing to meet the existing demand.
This demand is not solely driven by migration but is also influenced by factors such as the rise in remote work, longer life expectancy, changing expectations, delayed marriages, and increased divorce rates.
We should not allow the aspirations of Manx families to build homes on the Isle of Man to be thwarted by the ascent of the BANANA ideology. We can do better, and we can build a better future for our community.
This letter was first published in the Manx Independent of September 28
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