Cash incentives should be offered to people to prevent Nimbyism from standing in the way of housebuilding projects, according to Policy Exchange.
The thinktank says the current system where councils decide whether projects get the go-ahead means vocal minorities of residents with a not-in-my-back-yard attitude can block plans too easily.
Policy Exchange argues that if local communities were balloted, with those affected being offered incentives “to help them vote yes” more building would get under way.
Deputy director and editor of the report Natalie Evans says: “Not only does current housing policy not work, it is also extremely expensive. The reforms outlined in this report to social housing and the planning system would save up to £20bn a year.
“Having stable house prices would save everyone money but for that to happen we need to make it easier to build houses.”
Savills head of research Yolande Barnes says: “Getting viable properties of a type people want, where people want them, especially under the current system is especially difficult. The trouble is that the areas of highest demand are often some of the most heavily built already and potentially most likely to find objectors.”
Emba group sales director Mike Fitzgerald says the proposals would not overcome the Nimby problem.
He says: “The problem is thousands of years old. When the Romans wanted to put a road through a part of Rome, I bet the merchants said yes but the people living there said no. But it could help address the fact that it is only usually the people who are adversely affected who come forward.”