Another letter which exposes the lack of consensus on the issue.
An Taisce is happy to have the organisation's policy against one off houses included in all county development plans and the National Spatial Strategy.
It does not persue the policy as rigidly as it could. In most cases it allows the local authorities to decide without any An Taisce submission.
The one off housing policy is one An Taisce policy that has been accepted almost universally. As opposed to burying our heads in the sand, the organisation has developed lines of demarcation as to what circumstances mitigate an application meriting no censure.
As stated before family ties and use of particular local building materials in combination are preferable to much of the junk that has sprung up in the past.
What is required is legislation in all areas binding those who develop one-off houses by virtue of family ties to those properties for a reasonable timeframe of say ten years.
As Fin stated has been done for Gealtacht grants.
The fact that one off housing has not left the agenda is a reflection that this single policy is overshadowing all the other programmes An Taisce provides.
Very few within the organisation have such tunnel vision as to see the organisation as a single issue group.
Just to repeat the structure of the organisation again:
The Education unit that provides the Green Schools programme in partnership with LOCAL schools, communities and business.
The White and Blue flag schemes.
The 16 Properties that are held and managed both locally and nationally.
The Waste and Transport committees that have had many policies implemented in a much less controversial way.
The built environment committee that has had many successes including influencing many heritage protection measures incorporated into the 2000 Planning and Development act.
The Natural Environment committee has had many successes on having the government keeping the Kyoto protocol on the agenda. They also brought the one off housing issue which was a progressive move to put on to County development plans as a submission.
To push for a complete ban policy only serves to undermine all the other policies and programmes.
It hands ammunition to many who are using this issue only to advance their own political ambitions.
Does anyone take anything on the opinion page of the Irish times seriously?
Come on Kevin Myers, John Waters, John Dillon etc