Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby Paul Clerkin » Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:59 pm

One third of State's houses built since 1995
The Irish Times

More that one third of houses in the State were built in the last 10 years, according to the latest figures from the Department of the Environment. Last year almost 81,000 houses were built, an increase of 5.2 per cent on 2004. It was the 11th consecutive year of record housing output. This brings the total number of houses built since 1995 to 548,000, which accounts for 34 per cent of all houses in the State. The increase was "an extraordinary development over a 10-year period" the Minister of State for Housing, Noel Ahern, said.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2006/0124/3068672755HM5HOUSES.html
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:13 pm

I often wonder about these statistics; for example, my house here in Kerry is a one-off, a re-build of an old house. We had plans drawn up to build an extension but because of ground contours, the decrepit condition of what was there, etc., it made more sense to demolish and rebuild. New house is on exact footprint of old, has a Puraflow, old house had septic tanks, original house had a hole in the ground. We have our own well, the ESB has been there since the 1960’s, we have neither rubbish collection nor local transport service. So where is the burden? I can drive to either airport or railway station in less time than it takes to drive to most of my clients in Dublin (and at my age I’m buggered if I’m going to cycle around Dublin or the Reeks!) I’m not over-using fossil resources.

Incidentally, An Taisce sent in “an observation” on our request to demolish. This inaccurately described the house and when I was able to illustrate this with photographs they withdrew. However, it ensured enough notice and attention from the planner to delay everything for months. Although I support many of An T’s aims, they could be more open on their tactics – their public statement is that they objected to only 6 proposals in Kerry last year, but never admit the hundreds of “observations” that are filed.
Finally, my Dublin house is prominently stuck in a greenbelt. Judging by many of the comments on this thread it should not be there. It is, however, a listed building and like almost all listed buildings is a one-off. Times and tastes change, Tallon's house for Goulding at Enniskerry was decried when it was built, now it too is "historic" (and possibly listed?)
Is Eoghan Harris’ Baltimore home a one-off too?
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:43 pm

Paul, would you be able to post the text of the article - I'm afraid I cannot access the website and would love to have a look at this.

KerryBog2 - you are a brave man. You will probably have burning crucifixes stuck in your lawn tonight.

Oddly enough, now that I think about it some of the contributors to this discussion have previously argued fiercely for the retention of Georgian houses in Dublin. Given the frequently unnecessarily high ceilings in many Georgian houses and the resulting wanton wastefulness in terms of energy/heat loss, I presume that we will soon see these people following the logic of their convictions and condemning the retention of such energy wasting buildings in Dublin on the grounds of unsustainability.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:59 pm

I'm sure Madam will forgive me... article in full.

More that one third of houses in the State were built in the last 10 years, according to the latest figures from the Department of the Environment.

Last year almost 81,000 houses were built, an increase of 5.2 per cent on 2004. It was the 11th consecutive year of record housing output.

This brings the total number of houses built since 1995 to 548,000, which accounts for 34 per cent of all houses in the State.

The increase was "an extraordinary development over a 10-year period" the Minister of State for Housing, Noel Ahern, said.

Based on economists' forecasts, his department believed that 2004 would remain the record year for house completions and that 2005 would be "down a bit", he said. However, the last quarter of 2005 saw a massive building surge, he said.

"Obviously there is still a very strong demand for housing. A lot of experts who make forecasts about a downturn have been wrong before, so they could be wrong again about forecasts for output and for prices."

Mr Ahern said he "did not doubt" that house prices would continue to rise. However the Government was making every effort to ensure the supply of houses would meet the demand.

"The only real way to control prices is by supply. That is why we are pushing all the time and encouraging more supply."

Dublin city and county had the largest number of houses built in 2005 at 18,019, an increase of 7.2 per cent on 2004. The neighbouring commuter counties also saw significant increases, with house completions up 12.8 per cent in Wicklow, 9.5 per cent in Meath, 4.5 per cent in Wexford and 3 per cent in Kildare.

Over the 10-year period from 1995, house building in Dublin doubled and in the greater Dublin area, encompassing Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, it increased by 124 per cent.

Counties with far lower populations had the largest percentage increases from 2004 to 2005, but lower numbers of houses built than in Dublin.

In Monaghan 953 houses were built, an increase of 31.1 per cent on 2004; in Donegal there were 3,667 completions, up 30.4 per cent; in Cavan 2,129 houses were built, up 24.7 per cent; and in Clare 2,174 houses were built, an increase of 18.7 per cent.

This increase in rural housing could be related to tax incentives for development, or an increase in second home ownership, Mr Ahern said. However in counties such as Cavan the new houses might be occupied by people commuting to Dublin.

Mr Ahern said he would rather see a greater density of housing in the greater Dublin region. "The greater Dublin area, that is where the greatest demand is and that is where we want units."




© The Irish Times
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:35 pm

KerryBog2 wrote: I often wonder about these statistics]

How did this play out KB?

Was further information requested in relation to specific issues?

KerryBog2 wrote: However, it ensured enough notice and attention from the planner to delay everything for months. Although I support many of An T’s aims, they could be more open on their tactics – their public statement is that they objected to only 6 proposals in Kerry last year, but never admit the hundreds of “observations” that are filed.


There is a large difference between observing and objecting] Finally, my Dublin house is prominently stuck in a greenbelt. Judging by many of the comments on this thread it should not be there. It is, however, a listed building and like almost all listed buildings is a one-off. Times and tastes change, Tallon's house for Goulding at Enniskerry was decried when it was built, now it too is "historic" (and possibly listed?)
Is Eoghan Harris’ Baltimore home a one-off too?
KB2


Very valid point in relation to EH; one does wonder what type of house it is and what age it is.

I'm not so sure that the majority of (listed) protected structures are detatched nevermind 'one-off' I would say that terraced houses in towns such as Drogheda, Kilkenny, Clonmel, Killarney, Westport, Sligo etc as well as Victorian commercial buildings such as bars and banks as well as eclesiastical buildings make up the majority of protected structures even if some of Grade one mansions attract most of the public perception of built heritage.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:05 pm

TP –
When we lodged for PP to demolish and rebuild An T wrote to KCC stating that the existing house was one of “charm and character” and every attempt should be made to preserve it. Cannot remember all exact words, but “Charm and Character” I clearly remember. I replied to the PO stating that we had tried to preserve the house over many years, had failed and it was an uneconomic proposition. I added that we originally hoped to build an extension (plans enclosed) and that any “charm and character” were modern features/works done by me over the years. Supported my case with a room-by-room account of the “charm and character ” and backed up the whole thing with photos taken about 20 yrs ago when we bought the place, showing it to be a total kip, ravaged by a 1960s "modernisation." I also made a case for the replacement house (vernacular design) detailing why it had certain features. Exit An T, no word of acknowledgement or other, but the process delayed me considerably as the planner covered his ass, requested all sorts of information and I missed my slot with the builder of my preference. ( I then waited for him and it was worth it!) There were no conditions that were onerous or (from memory) different to what I planned, and the new house design was accepted in its entirety.

I personally believe that An T strategy is less than honest. It loses support from me and my like (who believe in much of its purpose) by lobbing-in “observations” knowing that as a prescribed body they have considerable weight. Their “observation” is probably on par with an “objection” from an ordinary punter who has to pay his/her 20quid. Their Kilgarvan-based spokesperson was on Radio Kerry on Sunday last and said that they made only 6 objections in the Kingdom last year.
Their web-site is a disgrace and its search facility does not work (for planning searches in Kerry)
AnT’s outlook has been battered into one of a siege mentality, deservedly so I’m sorry to say. They need to get rid of the cranks and draft some people who are positive and not whiners. They need to say what should be done, not what should not be done. They should comment positively on houses/features/materials that they consider appropriate. And refrain from the BS about too many cars on side roads causing accidents, which is typical of the drivel they highlight. Think of the good PR they would have got had they supported Dermot Desmond’s dumb-waiter.

Good point about the terraces, etc. Think of how nice it would be to have some painted the same color, not the grey/purple/white/blue/pink we all to often see!
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby Devin » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:15 pm

[quote="Thomond Park"]There is a large difference between observing and objecting]Wrong Thomond Park. Stop bluffing – you are the biggest bluffer on Archiseek.
“Submission” or “Observation” (rather than “Objection”) is the correct word for a 3rd party representation to a planning application, because you are usually requesting the local authority to test the proposal against the local Development Plan or other relevant public policy, and see that the plans meets these policies (which have been signed up to).


Reading the last couple of pages of the thread - and PDLL’s contributions particularly - what always strikes me listening to the defenders of (the current rate of) one-off housing - e.g. Seamus Caulfield, Jim Connolly, Michael Healy Rae ... - is that you would think nothing was happening … you would think it was impossible to get a permission for a house in a rural area …
As republicofcork said recently in another context “anger often conceals guilt” and these people know the country is being concreted over but they’re screaming and shouting that you can’t get planning permission so as to preserve the current situation of almost no restriction ….
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:29 pm

KerryBog2 wrote: TP –
When we lodged for PP to demolish and rebuild An T wrote to KCC stating that the existing house was one of “charm and character” and every attempt should be made to preserve it. Cannot remember all exact words, but “Charm and Character” I clearly remember. I replied to the PO stating that we had tried to preserve the house over many years, had failed and it was an uneconomic proposition. I added that we originally hoped to build an extension (plans enclosed) and that any “charm and character” were modern features/works done by me over the years. Supported my case with a room-by-room account of the “charm and character ” and backed up the whole thing with photos taken about 20 yrs ago when we bought the place, showing it to be a total kip, ravaged by a 1960s "modernisation." I also made a case for the replacement house (vernacular design) detailing why it had certain features.


I can imagine that you found the intervention frustrating and were suprised to be asked to submit further information] Exit An T, no word of acknowledgement or other, but the process delayed me considerably as the planner covered his ass, requested all sorts of information and I missed my slot with the builder of my preference. ( I then waited for him and it was worth it!) There were no conditions that were onerous or (from memory) different to what I planned, and the new house design was accepted in its entirety. [/QUOTE]

It is unfortunate that no acknoweledgement was sent but my guess is that when a statutory observer makes a first instance enquiry and subsequently makes no further comment that it is an 'implied withdrawal of concern' that suggests that their concerns no longer exist.

KerryBog2 wrote: I personally believe that An T strategy is less than honest. It loses support from me and my like (who believe in much of its purpose) by lobbing-in “observations” knowing that as a prescribed body they have considerable weight. Their “observation” is probably on par with an “objection” from an ordinary punter who has to pay his/her 20quid. Their Kilgarvan-based spokesperson was on Radio Kerry on Sunday last and said that they made only 6 objections in the Kingdom last year.


I don't agree] Their web-site is a disgrace and its search facility does not work (for planning searches in Kerry) AnT’s outlook has been battered into one of a siege mentality, deservedly so I’m sorry to say. They need to get rid of the cranks and draft some people who are positive and not whiners. They need to say what should be done, not what should not be done. They should comment positively on houses/features/materials that they consider appropriate. And refrain from the BS about too many cars on side roads causing accidents, which is typical of the drivel they highlight. Think of the good PR they would have got had they supported Dermot Desmond’s dumb-waiter. [/QUOTE]

The website is dreadful and really needs a complete overhaul from concept to design to content; in relation to their style of delivery their TV work is always top notch Eanna Ni Lahmna was a fantastic recruit for them and Frank Corcoran is excellent as well.

KerryBog2 wrote: Good point about the terraces, etc. Think of how nice it would be to have some painted the same color, not the grey/purple/white/blue/pink we all to often see!


I know exactly what you mean
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:36 pm

Devin wrote:Wrong Thomond Park. Stop bluffing – you are the biggest bluffer on Archiseek.


Very eloquent
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:50 pm

PDLL wrote:aesthetics are a major part of the issue and what is considered 'appropriate' by urban dwellers for rural life. As I pointed out, rural one-off dwellers do not endlessly harp on about the socially-destructive form of apartments being widely built in Irish cities that meet no long term purpose other than the gross accumulation of wealth for a few.


Well they should PDLL - they should be concerned, and they should harp on about it. Again you're propagating an urban-rural divide. Any person, regardless of where they live have a right to hold opinions on structures being built on a commonly shared area of land, in this case the island of Ireland. I don't live in Dublin yet I still harp on at mind-numbing length about things that happen in Dublin - the same with Dundalk, even though I don't even live in the town. Most rural dwellers probably have opinions on their local towns or villages, or developments in their capital, and hold a similar right to scan a critical eye over them just as urban-based people have about the countryside.

If one-offs are horrendously ugly by nature and the McMansion is an eyesore, then don't blame one-offs per se, blame the aesthetics of these houses. Would it be different if all of the houses were truly one-offs in terms of their design - each carefully and uniquely modelled by an architect? I reckon it would be a different issue as then they would meet the aesthetic standards of the architectural profession. However, as they stand they represent the actuality and reality of what the Irish rural dweller desires socially, culturally, economically and aesthetically - they are the physical manifestation of the Irish rural dwellers domestic ideal. Fair enough, if that aesthetic is awful then blame the Irish psyche for a lack of good taste, don't blame the concept of the one-off house. There are as many aesthetic abominations in our cities. Believe me - most of Dublin isn't exactly pleasing to the eye.


Indeed - domestic development across the country is getting worse rather than better. We're without doubt sinking to the level the UK reached in the early 1990s. You can see all the mannerisms creeping in - a gradual dissolution of any form of distinctive style, the ubiquitous use of red brick with basic over-door detailing, the elimination of window reveals, the rampant spread of PVC, the reduction in size of residential units, the constant replication of the 1930s semi model, watered down in every conceivable way that it can be, the 'build to contain' ethos where quantity of floorspace and number of units takes precedence over everything else etc etc etc.

Yes it is rampant across all areas of residential building in Ireland. But that does not mean that one-off building must not face its responsibilities the same as developer-led construction. And the sad reality of one-off housing is that by its very nature poor design stands out all the more harshly in rural areas. In urban centres it fits in to the general 'developed' scheme of things, even if woefully designed.
By contrast, a rendered, painted and PVC-adorned house is to a rural landscape is the equivalent to a plastic milk bottle tossed in a ditch. It is simply incongruous by its very nature. Out of context. And ugly.

That's not to say that all rural housing development is like that, nor has to be. And this is where, generally speaking, there is a genuine case to be had for the argument that older buildings fit in better in rural areas. They tend to be clad in natural materials, or materials sourced locally. They are rendered in dark sand render or they’]Aesthetically[/b], that is to say don’t start jumping on me that I’m suggesting we should all live in shacks again. Of course there’s an element of cultural perspective to it all – there’s no doubting that most people would find a typical 19th century three-bay, two storey, whitewashed house standing proud on an untouched landscape remarkably appealing. Yes there is an allure to that as it is picturesque from a contemporary cultural outlook. But what remains from the past does not give us an automatic right to replicate it fifty times over, and with all the attendant bells and whistles that modern living brings.

Today we live in a highly developed, modernised world. A large element of the appeal that older houses have for us is that they are the first physical manifestation of Ireland modernising and developing into the country we have today, with these remnants standing as the prototypes of the buildings we currently live in, with rooms set out for individual uses and architectural norms established etc etc. This will not be the case in 100/150/200 years time with the current crop of one-offs. If anything they will stand for how primitive we really were in 2006. But more importantly, we cannot possibly equate the underdeveloped every-man-for-himself civilisation of the 18th and 19th centuries to what we have today. We know better, and pride ourselves on how ‘developed’ we are. Interpreting historical precedent down to the letter is simply naïve. And why should we have to wait one hundred years for these hideous buildings to attain a certain charm? What matters is what we’re building now, and unfortunately what we’re building now is dross.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby Devin » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:01 pm

KerryBog2 wrote:…] need to get rid of the cranks and draft some people who are positive and not whiners. They need to say what should be done, not what should not be done. They should comment positively on houses/features/materials that they consider appropriate.
KerryBog2, if this is what you would like An Taisce to be, all I can say is tough shit – welcome to planning in Ireland ….
An Taisce is not an organisation that negotiates a community hall with a developer while he rapes the area for his own ends … or suggests a nice colour to paint a one-off house in a sensitive area. Planning is in a permanent state of collapse in Ireland and the submission and appeal system is its last bastion …

I don’t have time now because I have an important appeal deadline tomorrow, but in the next few days I will post up some of the more bizarre examples of the way planning takes place in Ireland … the lengths of trickery and deceit people are going to to secure PP for once off houses.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby KerryBog2 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:42 pm

Devin wrote:KerryBog2, if this is what you would like An Taisce to be, all I can say is tough shit – welcome to planning in Ireland ….
An Taisce is not an organisation that negotiates a community hall with a developer while he rapes the area for his own ends … or suggests a nice colour to paint a one-off house in a sensitive area. Planning is in a permanent state of collapse in Ireland and the submission and appeal system is its last bastion .


Devin, that is not what I'm suggesting or saying. What I said was An T is "on the ropes" and has lost the support of the people - even those who, like me, support most of its aims. Its membership of (a claimed) 5000 is indicative of this when compared to the National Trust or even the Irish branch of the RNLI. An T needs the community; instead of obtaining support it has alienated most people and thus it is debatable that it is fulfilling its role. Educating the community is part of the process of regaining that support and I believe An T should do that.

The two An T members that I do know - self-styled local representatives - are bitter people who lead sad lives and have twisted agendas. One objected (in a "personal" capacity) and drummed up support from another collection of old biddys on the local residents association to a garage being built by a friend of mine not because it was unsightly, but because "he should not be driving a gas guzzling tank" - her words. On the submission form she did not, of course, put that.

Everyone agrees that there is trickery/chicanery, etc., from developers and others. Most reasonable people acknowledge this and would support An T if it got rid of the cranks and became more user-friendly.
As for Bean Ni Lamhna, (and you brought personalities into this) I cannot agree that she was a great addition, she drives most people mad by her non-stop chatter on Sunday morning radio. Personally I doubt she could listen or shut up long enough to chair a meeting. Just shows how out-of-touch An T people are!
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:49 pm

I would say that the text that you are quoting illustrates your point perfectly.

I think your commentary on what are essentially local members with no capacity to defend themselves is harsh and as they cannot defend themselves unjustified.

Eanna is excellent for AT as she has the capacity to both Chair meetings such as the AT agm as well as being one of the most sought after speakers on the community NGO circuit; conversely to telling people that it is tough shit she spreads a very simple message of how small changes can deliver for local communities.

Communities BEING A VERY IMPORTANT THING
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby Devin » Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:40 pm

Thomond Park,
I know you are sitting at home at the moment with not much to do but hit the forum (always in invisi-mode, I see), but please, only say things if you mean them, and not to try'n "get at" somone. You have a history of playacting on the forum such as contradictory stances and supporting your own points through multiple identities (6 at the last count!). Let's have a bit of integrity …


KerryBog2,
I’m sorry but your initial laughable comments that An Taisce should suggest nice materials for one-off houses shows that it is you who is out of touch.

And the further talk of biddies and twisted people shows you don’t have the vaguest inkling of what An Taisce's professional staff are dealing with on a daily basis. There’s no “on the ropes” – there’s just work to be done …
Would you like to come into An Taisce’s office next time you’re in Dublin and I'll try to give you some idea of this?

The odds are steeply stacked against sustainable development Ireland. As I said I will post some examples of planning farce when I get a chance (snowed under responding to the Xmas planning app. surge at the moment!), but in the meantime, this is the Planner’s Report recommending refusal for a one-off house on an elevated site in Westmeath (the Manager’s overturning letter of which I posted at the start of the thread):

Image Image


And the (most likely lobbied) Manager’s overturning letter again:

Image


It has been appealed now by An Taisce to An Bord Pleanala and will almost certainly be thrown out because the Bord don’t tolerate this kind of paddy-planning.



Edit: Please note; the documents posted here are publicly-available documents from the planning file (available at the Local Authority planning counter).
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:05 pm

Devin wrote: Thomond Park,
I know you are sitting at home at the moment with not much to do but hit the forum (always in invisi-mode,


Sitting at home at 10am hmmmmmmm likely story
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby FIN » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:08 pm

devin honey,
your still the same after all these years...obviously time hasn't been kind to your mood. or maybe saving the world brings it's own special pressures and as a superhero, your people skills are as sharp as an taisce's.

very interesting discussion apart from the ramblings of the grumpy old man. i think that the topic has gradually come upon the true aspect of the problem. the design value of the one off house. i am still and will always be in favour of letting people build on their own land. in fact i have designed a house for a friend on his parents land. it is however not a bungalow or indeed anything remotely similiar to those grotesque houses but if i may say so, a masterpiece :D i do suspect however their will be some the incoherent nonsense from the usual suspects as soon as i go for planning.that aside...... we do need a increase in the design awareness of not only the public ( clients and therefore eventually end users who paint their houses pink) but as the profession isn't protected in the technicians and dare i say builders as i have recently had a case where when pricing for a client a builder has suggested changing the design...

i agree with pd that there is the historical context for one off houses but not quite the ribbon development. someone mentioned ( apologies as i read the whole thread today and there was a lot to take in that i forgot who ) the development of new villages. this however will cause more problems cos then you have to build a public sewerage system and treatment plant along with providing a post office ( even though most rural p.o. are closing down and therefore the postie has to come further from a centralised p.o.) and then if it got larger a primary school...which the state will have to pay the teachers..then a garda station also paid by the state, fire station, public street lights, mroe roads to maintain...this is a good idea but if cost to the tax payer is an issue with one-offs then instead of constantly bashing it come up with an alternative that costs less ( not likely) or the same.

there is also another precedent that hasn't been touched on yet, it was mentioned about the sea and that populations grew up around the sea ports. these, in bygone times, were the trade routes and superhighways of the day. with the advent of the motorcar this switched to the roads.people like to live along these routes for ease of access to other areas and goods..etc. it was only natural that people will develop this to suit their requirements. this is a natural extension of the pre-established order.
the position of site by the landowners are a reflection of this as is the P.A. insistance that a 30m road frontage be established. they then require( for valid safety reasons) sight lines therefore the natural hedgerow has to be taken out. i do agree that the concrete path is an eyesore all the way around a house. and that it is nice to see the land going right up to a house..this causes it's own particular problems but can be over come. so along a road you have a row of houses with farmland in behind it.

i am not going to get into the whole urban/culchie discussion, but what i find strange is the argument of the me feiners want their house so it should be....well is it not the me feiner on the other side saying "it doesn't fit in with me view of ireland or what i think the quaint country folk should be doing" that are objecting to the one off's. just a little observation. no offence meant to anyone.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby KerryBog2 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:37 pm

Devin wrote:KerryBog2,
I’m sorry but your initial laughable comments that An Taisce should suggest nice materials for one-off houses shows that it is you who is out of touch.

And the further talk of biddies and twisted people shows you don’t have the vaguest inkling of what An Taisce's professional staff are dealing with on a daily basis. There’s no “on the ropes” – there’s just work to be done …


Devin,
You are misquoting me. I suggested that An T make known what it considers to be acceptable, not "nice materials for one-off houses." Seeing as you have set up your stall as style and environment gurus, why not put your views and ideas on the line in a positive manner? Surely there are houses out there that you like? Would it not be instructive or educational to illustrate that for the profanum vulgus - the faux Georgian, plastic window pillar and portico brigade?

Neither did I comment on "An T's professional staff " or their daily work, I commented on two members (not officers or spokespeople) who have set themselves up as vigilantes with - it would appear - An T's tacit approval. If as you say "there's just work to be done" perhaps it might be easier if you had more support and more people on the side of your organisation.

To mis-quote Marx (Groucho) I would not join an organisation that had so many cranks as members. One-off houses are here to stay. So is the motorcar. Times change, but it seems that many associated with AnT are in a timewarp. Yes, I fully support the need for heritage /environment protection but that does not mean I'm against every one-off house or new road. An T is forever speaking negatively and is therefore perceived negatively . That is why it has alienated me and thousands like me and why it is failing miserably in what it is supposed to do.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby Devin » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:55 am

KerryBog2,
I’m getting a slight but persistent bitterness running through your last number of posts. Deliberate placement of words like “timewarp” and “vigilante” (nothing could be further from the truth) beside An Taisce. It’s quite funny. Perhaps your Kerry fantasy of An Taisce being “on the ropes” has recently been broken for some reason?

You seem to have no grasp of this simple equation: the Irish government has put short-term expediency firmly in front of any meaningful sustainable future for the country. It nailed its colours to the mast with the unSustainable Rural Housing Guidelines last year (giving the people what they want instead of governing). Therefore to say the right thing is to say the difficult and unpopular thing.

An Taisce will get on with the important work it does; the work that (almost) no-one else is doing.


P.S. - You mentioned other environmental groups abroad a couple of posts ago. Well you’ll be pleased to learn that Frank Corcoran, Chairman of An Taisce, recently became vice president of the European Environmental Bureau, a powerful umbrella group for 140 environmental non-governmental organisations, which influences European Commission policy making.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:10 pm

Its worth considering that if the Irish Government was truly interested in sustainability, it would be aggressively pursuing renewable forms of energy, including wind energy and that generated by waves, Both of these forms of energy generation would have a huge impact on the Irish countryside and the ideal image of that countryside propagated by 'certain elements' within Irish society. In short, those who advocate sustainability within an Irish context, will have to be prepared for the fact that the one-off house is quite a minor scar on the landscape in comparison to a few thousand large white windmills dotted around the coast. Given the obvious potential for large scale energy crises in the future - both related to oil and gas - it is downright irresponsible of the Government not to pursue such forms of energy immediately. One wonders where An Taisce will stand when planning permission is sought for a large number of such windmills along the coast.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:15 pm

As simplistic as always if its undeveloped land bury it with something;

The most logical way to develop an alternative energy policy is to develop a broad range of policies; however putting up small numbers of turbines in multiple locations is not the answer and placing them on elevated ground is completley wrong in my opinion.

A well placed observer has stated that the Bord Na Mona holdings accross the Central Plain would be ideal post extraction phase as the unretarded wind at this location could generate significant quantities of electricity as well as giving operational synergies.

Coastal development of wind turbines is not exactly coastal, it tends to be marine as evidenced by the treasury scheme close to Arklow or similar schemes in North Wales and Western Denmark.

other sources that should be considered include:

Appetite for ethanol strains Brazilian cane millers
By Elizabeth Johnson in São Paulo
Published: January 25 2006 23:43 | Last updated: January 25 2006 23:43

Brazilian sugar cane producers dream of the day when their cane-based ethanol will fuel cars from Stockholm to Tokyo. But for that to happen, they must prove they can produce enough of the biofuel for buyers to rely on year-round.

The country’s biofuels programme is among the most advanced in the world. Nearly 30 years ago, the military dictatorship launched a pro-ethanol push, offering subsidies for cane mills and price controls in an effort to reduce dependence on crude imports following the 1970s oil crisis.

The programme was a resounding success. Local carmakers designed ethanol-fuelled cars, and nearly all new automobiles ran exclusively on the clean fuel throughout the 1980s.

However, when world sugar prices spiked in 1989, Brazilian mills opted to shift production back to sugar – the other main product of cane – and the price of ethanol was capped by the government. The move left many filling stations dry, souring people on ethanol for a decade.

When Brazil’s new democratic government ended price controls and dismantled subsidies for the fuel, mills were forced to become highly efficient. Most depended on distilling operations when sugar prices sagged – although they were also helped by government mandates that all gasoline at the pump contain at least 20 to 25 per cent ethanol.

But ethanol faced additional problems. Motorists considered pure-ethanol cars sluggish dinosaurs, and by the first years of the new millennium sales had fallen to just 1 per cent of total new vehicle sales.

When oil prices soared again earlier this decade, Brazil’s motor industry decided to fight the old stereotypes, introducing “flex-fuel” cars, which boast better performance thanks to engine technology that constantly adjusts to a mix of ethanol and gasoline. Since their launch in 2004, the cars have become an enormous success, accounting for 71 per cent of all new car sales in December, up from 24 per cent a year earlier.

Waldemar Guilherme, a São Paulo taxi driver who bought his flex-fuel GM Meriva in 2004, had bad experiences with ethanol-fuelled cars in the past but has been pleased with the new models. “It runs like a gasoline car, but I’ve only used ethanol since I bought it,” Mr Guilherme said.

Meanwhile, the flex-fuel cars have raised fresh concerns about ethanol supplies. Increased demand has lifted the price per litre by 25 per cent since the cane harvest began winding down a month ago.

Industry analysts say there will be enough ethanol to supply the market – but only just enough.

The country will have about 250m litres of ethanol stocks when the seasonal cane harvest resumes in May. That is enough to supply the domestic market for about one week, according to the São Paulo Sugar Producers’ Association (Unica).

The government has tried to strong-arm the mills into containing prices, in what analysts say is a populist ploy in an election year. São Paulo’s BM&F commodities and futures exchange said recently it would suspend its ethanol futures contract if the government insisted on controlling prices.

Potential foreign buyers of Brazilian ethanol, such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, will all be watching supplies closely as they decide whether to move ahead with their own ethanol fuel additive programmes, which would rely on ethanol imports. “Markets such as Japan are very sensitive to supply issues and the current situation is quite problematic for opening new markets,” said Christoph Berg, an ethanol analyst from FO Licht.

In response to growing market demand, Brazilian millers are investing heavily to increase sugar cane production and erect new mills. Their goal is to double ethanol production to 34bn litres per year by 2013.

“If there’s a plan in place, Brazil will increase production. It has the land and the capital to meet demand, but it won’t happen overnight,” said Fabrizio Vichichi, the executive vice-president of brokerage firm Nobel Americas.

The country is actively seeking to promote ethanol programmes in Thailand, India and central America, but global clients worry that it will be impossible to guarantee supply unless more countries begin producing significant volumes of ethanol for export.

“Ethanol will become a global commodity, but it will take time,” said C. Harry Falk, the president and chief executive of the New York Board of Trade. He estimates a real global marketplace will take three to four years to emerge.

The obvious candidate to team up with Brazil would be the US, which has become the world’s number-two ethanol producer by offering subsidies to farmers in the Midwest who make corn-based fuel. It does not yet export ethanol.

“If you look at the ethanol landscape worldwide, the US and Brazil are like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,” said Mr Vichichi. However, a partnership would entail some tough decisions for Brazil, where producers have already expressed concerns about subsidies granted to north American producers.

“US ethanol producers get roughly $1.20 per gallon in incentives. . . if they export under these conditions, it would give them a tremendously unfair advantage,” said Fernando Moreira Ribeiro, a Unica executive.http://news.ft.com/cms/s/6ce6f2e4-8dde-11da-8fda-0000779e2340.html
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:29 pm

Or just can all of the hot air which one spouts - some Mr. Sustainabilities could power entire cities using this technique alone.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:32 pm

You appear scared by anything that has a number in it; the FT are fairly good at them
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:39 pm

[quote="Thomond Park"]You appear scared by anything that has a number in it]

If I am scared by anything with a number in it its probably because I'm not used to seeing so many hard and supportable facts in your posts TP. What is FT - the Financial Times, I presume. Just don't see what the Financial Times has to do with the present discussion.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:45 pm

You don't see much
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:01 pm

Thomond Park wrote:You don't see much


You mean the minute little element of the website address at the bottom of one of your previous missives - I guess I must have been too overwhelmed by the supporting evidence you provided to check that little detail. Do you play any form of sport?
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