Tuesday 3 June 2014

Questions for anyone claiming RPZs devalue houses

There's a 3500+ petition up on the council web site demanding a rethink to RPZs in Bristol. This shows how effective the Clifton people at organising defence of their rights. Or, as the late Glaswegian father of this team member said "The extension of the M1 to Swiss Cottage was stopped because it went through Hampstead. The inner glasgow motorways went through the Gorbals because it went through the Gorbals". Anyone who thinks this petition is about RPZs anywhere outside Clifton are wonderfully naive.

Again, this petition is repeating the claim that an RPZ is bad for your house price.

Some questions for anyone who repeats that claims?

-Why is nobody from Cotham or Kingsdown protesting about the RPZs, saying "the RPZ devalued our house prices"?

-Have house prices in Cotham South and Kingsdown either fallen since the RPZ -or even just increased at a lower rate than Cotham North?

-Why do estate agents in Clifton emphasise off-street parking as a feature when selling houses?

-If, as is claimed, an RPZ will eliminate shop staff and commuter parking on weekdays, is that £50/year going to buy you the ability to park near your home, without having to pay that off-street parking premium?

-When the asking price for a house in or near Clifton is £1.5M+, who is suffering here? Because the only people that can afford a house like that is going to be someone selling up a flat in London and moving west,  someone in Clifton earning large amounts of money and still overcommitting on the mortgage -or someone with money making an investment in buy-to-let and expecting prices to continue to rise.

-Why are the Clifton RPZ protesters so concerned about the limit of the number of cars/household, or the cost of registering an overweight car, when a large fraction of the inner city don't even own one car, let alone three?

As the Bristol Blogger observed the last time we covered this, the RPZ is potentially going to increase value of your house. "In the Clifton West RPZ" means that you are officially in Clifton, and will have the right to drive your SUV round the corner to Clifton village for a latte.

More interesting is not so much "what will it mean for Clifton houses costing £1.5M", as "what will it mean for St Pauls houses?" Or, phrased differently, "will all-day residential parking it St Pauls increase gentrification and so break up the community there?"

That's something to discuss, but it's hard for the Cliftonians to complain about a destruction of community, as there is none. Everyone hates their neighbours as they are competing for the same parking spaces. And that's speaking as a former resident who was taken aback when moving to Horfield that neighbours actually say hello to each other.

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