Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby fergalr » Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:20 pm

I guess, in a sense, the argument comes down to whom you believe has a more important stake in the land of Ireland. The landowners themselves, who either own it as long as they choose or as long as the lease holds out. Or the wider community, the entire population of Ireland, who deserve for their country to be treated as well as possible, given the constraints of a growing population, the rights of the occupier and the need for greater transport links throughout the country.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:05 pm

PDLL wrote:I was not suggesting that they should be permanently ruled out of consideration, merely that they should be 'momentarily' put aside for the sake of elaborating another possible element for consideration.


Not possible


PDLL wrote:I still reject this simplistic view of Dubliner subsidizing one-off house country dweller argument. Lets consider other factors: take a working class high density housing estate in Tallaght or whereever and compare it to an area comprising 100 one-off houses in Co Mayo. Yes, the one-off houses cost a little more in terms of services (telephone cabling, postal deliveries etc). However, how much do you think the corpo houses in Dublin cost the irish tax payer, how much does the tax payer pay for the consequences of ghetto style housing areas in cities (higher crime rate, higher drugs rate, higher unemployment, increased cost of policing, increased cost of social workers, increased cost of maintanence due to vandalism etc. lets face it, take the whole thing as a package and the expense to the tax payer per head of capita is probably similar when comparing large urban areas to one-off housing.


This rural snobbery is quite disgusting]The state also has the responsibility to allow people to choose their lifestyle within the bounds of reasonable laws. Have you been to any former Soviet State lately?? Lets just stick everyone in 10 huge big tower blocks along O'Connell street and we would have the most sustainable and cost-effective city in the world. People should not have the right to live as they chose? Sounds a bit totalitarian to me. Ireland is a free state - if a person is free to buy an over-powered car, then they should be free to live in a one-off house. Lets deal with all of the problems related to the excesses of personal freedom before we start focussing on just one. That is what I meant when I said that this is not just about sustainability - it is about broader issues of personal freedom and the relationship between the person and the State. [/QUOTE]

Nobody is stopping you from buying a one off house; however the Department of Transport would stop you driving a car that hadn't undergone the relevant checks for safety and road appropriateness.


PDLL wrote:people could argue that living in higher densities is not for the common good of the people - it often brings increased crime, drug abuse, unemployment and so on as noted above. All of these cost the tax payer in terms of policing, accident and emergency, lost productivity, unemployment money etc. Lets see the bigger picture.


That is a highly offensive description of urban emlements and can only be described rural snobbery providing services to a dispersed area is simply more expensive


PDLL wrote:Bureaucrats who think in a utilitarian robotic manner?


Entirely unfair but better than a lot of the thrash who pass for local politicos in this state.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby bunch » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:48 am

PDLL - where are these working class high density estates in tallaght anyway?? there are no high density estates in tallaght that i'm aware of.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:01 pm

Thank you Thomond Park.
In examining any issue or argument it is usually possible to segregate certain elements for specific focus. That does not mean that the other elements do not have influence the entire argument or that they are not important – it just means that one topic becomes ‘momentarily’ (as specified) the focus of critical analysis.

Snobbery involves making a value judgement on others based upon their socio-cultural status. I did not make a value judgement on anyone. If you read my post, I stated sociological facts. It is a fact, however distasteful it may be to some, that large working-class estates in and around Dublin (and other cities and towns) have, statistically, higher crime and drug abuse rates than most rural areas in Ireland. In addition, they also tend to have significant problems with anti-social behaviour, vandalism, unemployment, car-related crime and so on. I am not saying that these things do not happen in rural Ireland – of course they do. I am saying that it is a social fact that these phenomena tend to increase in extent and intensify in magnitude in areas of greater housing density. As a result, such urban manifestations bring with them a myriad of expenses to the tax-payer, including but not limited to the following:

- need for social workers;
- need for drug-rehabilitation workers;
- need for prison places resulting out of drug-related crime;
- need for replacement public service vehicles due to vandalism;
- joy-riding (costs to consumer – insurance, police-related costs etc);
- reduced productivity due to bus-drivers unwilling to drive in certain areas;
- costs of policing;
- costs of school-liaison officers;
- costs of CCTV systems;
- breakdown in social bonds;

The list goes on – these are the hidden costs that often underpin increased housing density. Not always, granted, but you cannot escape sociological reality either.

Who has to cough up to pay for all of these invisible costs? Ya – the Irish tax payer – rural and urban alike; housing-estate dweller and one-off house dweller alike. Indeed, it could be described as Dublin arrogance to suggest that one-off housing is subsidised by Dublin – it could also be argued that the rural tax-payer has to take up much of the bill for the social problems in many areas in Dublin. Costs of postal delivery to one-off houses begin to fade into insignificance in comparison. There are always two sides to a story. If you only present the information on one-side then off course one-off housing looks selfish and unsustainable. I would hardly describe much of suburban Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo, Athlone etc as a social utopia.

If such observations are ‘highly offensive’ then it is a good job you do not work as a sociologist in Dublin – could be a bit upsetting.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:49 pm

PDLL wrote:Thank you Thomond Park.
In examining any issue or argument it is usually possible to segregate certain elements for specific focus. That does not mean that the other elements do not have influence the entire argument or that they are not important – it just means that one topic becomes ‘momentarily’ (as specified) the focus of critical analysis.


You cannot eliminate planning practice at any stage from the decision making process and call it planning]Snobbery involves making a value judgement on others based upon their socio-cultural status. I did not make a value judgement on anyone. If you read my post, I stated sociological facts. It is a fact, however distasteful it may be to some, that large working-class estates in and around Dublin (and other cities and towns) have, statistically, higher crime and drug abuse rates than most rural areas in Ireland. [/QUOTE]

Firstly I never singled out Dublin; I referred to Urban Ireland which includes any settlement with a population in excess of 1,000 people whilst you made broad sweeping generalisations that had no statistics to back them up and even declared that Tallaght had 'high density' local authority housing. The only medium density housing in Tallaght has been provided by the private sector and has sold extremely well where attractions such as Luas and The Square as well as proximity to essential facilities such as the Hospital and IT are proving both attractive to purchasers but also efficient for Local Government.



PDLL wrote:In addition, they also tend to have significant problems with anti-social behaviour, vandalism, unemployment, car-related crime and so on. I am not saying that these things do not happen in rural Ireland – of course they do. I am saying that it is a social fact that these phenomena tend to increase in extent and intensify in magnitude in areas of greater housing density. As a result, such urban manifestations bring with them a myriad of expenses to the tax-payer, including but not limited to the following:

- need for social workers]

It is more equitable to address the causes of social problems through investment in social supports than to keep every borreen with two bungalows with a road surface in a safe condition to collect a child on the heavily subsidised school bus. To strip every town in Ireland of its leaders and significant earner will in time lead to exactly what you have described above in many if not most small towns.

PDLL wrote:Who has to cough up to pay for all of these invisible costs? Ya – the Irish tax payer – rural and urban alike]

http://www.adamstown.ie


PDLL wrote:If such observations are ‘highly offensive’ then it is a good job you do not work as a sociologist in Dublin – could be a bit upsetting.


What experience do you have of urban living?
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:06 pm

Thomond Park wrote: if you want to talk about social engineering or psuedo sociology then an architecture / planning forum is hardly the place to do it.


If 'social engineering' or pseudo-sociology' has nothing to do with planning, then is it any wonder things are in a mess. Oddly enough, I would have thought that the way we PLAN our society is very much related to planning - could be wrong on this of course.

Thomond Park wrote: no statistics to back them up and even declared that Tallaght had 'high density' local authority housing.


Statistics - please go to Central Statistics Office website and the annual reports of the Gardai. You will find more than ample information there to support what I have stated. Of course, much of these statistics are based on 'generalizations', so I hope that doesn't put you off. Shameful, that, the way sociologiy bases itself on generalised statistics, especially when those statistics don't support the vision of the world that you might like to project. As regards 'high density' in Tallaght or anywhere elese for that matter - a housing estate with anything over 10 houses is arguably high density by Irish standards.

As regards the economics of one-off houses - quite a number of one-off houses function as B&Bs and therefore play an important role in the tourist infrastructure of the country. On that basis alone, those one-off houses that are B&Bs more than contribute to the State's economy and in their own way help subsidise such urban renewal projects as at Ballymun through the taxes they pay.

Thomond Park wrote: What experience do you have of urban living?


Not that it is relevant, I have lived in towns and cities both in Ireland and abroad for every single day of my life. I currently live in a city considerably bigger and better planned than Dublin. I have never lived in a rural one-off house, nor - oddly enough - would I like to. In the same way, however, that I would support the building of high-rise in Dublin, I support the retention of one-off rural houses as I believe that they have a place in Irish society and culture and have had since the very first settlers arrived here. To remove them from the countryside will leave the country looking like Britain. Urbanism is only one concept of human settlement and, in the broad span of human history, a relatively recent one. Trying to force everyone to fit the same concept of settlement sounds singularly communist to me.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:32 pm

PDLL wrote:If 'social engineering' or pseudo-sociology' has nothing to do with planning, then is it any wonder things are in a mess. Oddly enough, I would have thought that the way we PLAN our society is very much related to planning - could be wrong on this of course.


I agree we should plan our society along the lines of broadly accepted sociological theory such as our Taoiseachs favourite author/guru Robert Putnam



PDLL wrote: Statistics - please go to Central Statistics Office website and the annual reports of the Gardai. You will find more than ample information there to support what I have stated. Of course, much of these statistics are based on 'generalizations', so I hope that doesn't put you off. Shameful, that, the way sociologiy bases itself on generalised statistics, especially when those statistics don't support the vision of the world that you might like to project. As regards 'high density' in Tallaght or anywhere elese for that matter - a housing estate with anything over 10 houses is arguably high density by Irish standards.


With the greatest of respect if you wish to make a point that relies on statistics you should display the specific statisitics or if you can't supply them withdraw your remarks] As regards the economics of one-off houses - quite a number of one-off houses function as B&Bs and therefore play an important role in the tourist infrastructure of the country. On that basis alone, those one-off houses that are B&Bs more than contribute to the State's economy and in their own way help subsidise such urban renewal projects as at Ballymun through the taxes they pay. [/QUOTE]

The problem with B& B 's miles from the social centres are that tourists either can't get to the bars and restaurants to spend money or have to drink and drive wheras if the same facility were located in the town they could comfortably stroll to and from the same revenue generating establishments thus generating more revenue in a more relaxed fashion.



PDLL wrote: Not that it is relevant, I have lived in towns and cities both in Ireland and abroad for every single day of my life. I currently live in a city considerably bigger and better planned than Dublin. I have never lived in a rural one-off house, nor - oddly enough - would I like to. In the same way, however, that I would support the building of high-rise in Dublin, I support the retention of one-off rural houses as I believe that they have a place in Irish society and culture and have had since the very first settlers arrived here. To remove them from the countryside will leave the country looking like Britain. Urbanism is only one concept of human settlement and, in the broad span of human history, a relatively recent one. Trying to force everyone to fit the same concept of settlement sounds singularly communist to me.



No one is saying that one off houses should be demolished; simply that they should be limited to circumstances where they are required to support existing agricultrual enterprises. The free for all must end
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:37 pm

[quote="Thomond Park"] With the greatest of respect if you wish to make a point that relies on statistics you should display the specific statisitics or if you can't supply them withdraw your remarks]


Given the quantity of data available to support the points I have presented, it is also unreasonable of you to expect me to present thousands of percentage figures to back up each detail. I have to work too! If one wants to know about the percentage of crime committed in Irish cities compared to that committed in rural areas, for example, it is quite easy to find: Consider, for example, the Garda Annual Report which clearly states that 'crime per 1,000 population' for the Dublin Metro Region was 40.74 while for the Western Region it was 14.89 (pages 16 and 19 of the Report). There is infinite amounts of detail clearly provided in the Report to give further evidence of that. The Garda Annual report is clearly structured and there is a clear link to the Annual Reports on the Garda Website: http://www.garda.ie.

Link to the Report:
http://www.garda.ie/angarda/statistics/report2004/annreport2004.pdf

If you are prepared to come out with statements concerning the micro-economic drawbacks of one-off houses, you should be prepared to inform yourself of the full range of micro-economic factors that should be considered. If you are so easily put off by fairly clearly laid out websites such as that of the CSO, it does not strengthen your case. Why should I be convinced by an argument from someone who simply couldn't be bothered examining the statistics that could prove that their argument has no foundation whatsoever. It seems you are easily dissauded from actually examining the micro-economics and micro-demographics that shape the settlement patterns in Ireland.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:39 pm

That is the Garda Annual Report for 2004 - I should have mentioned this above.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:56 pm

PDLL wrote:That is the Garda Annual Report for 2004 - I should have mentioned this above.


There is no seperation between urban and rural in this nor does the report detail the types of offence nor the causes of the crime and certainly makes no commentary as to the societal or settlement pattern related factors behind the single statisic. That could equally be attributed to day trippers from North Wales on the HSS or stag party weekenders from Northern England.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:22 pm

http://www.garda.ie/angarda/statistics/report2004/stats2004.pdf

This will give you all the statistics you could want and then some. No - it doesn't discuss societal patterns or settlement patterns and this is exactly my point. The consequences - good, bad or indifferent - of one-off houses can not be simply reduced to 'it costs a lot to tarmac a boreen or to deliver post to a house - therefore its cheaper to live in an estate on a bus route'. This is a simplistic and reductive understanding of how settlement patterns affect our society and economy.

Any debate about prefered forms of settlement should consider the bigger picture (and that includes such 'abstract' issues of personal liberty, as I mentioned earlier). The answer will not lie in one or two statistics or neat percentages, but collectively these might actually give a broader picture of how things really function. Yes, people see a boreen being tarmaced and the anti-one-off brigade start whining because it allegedly costs those living in somewhere like Crumlin a few extra tax euros. Perhaps, though, the owner of that house on the boreen is more comfortable living in the country, feels less stressed, is more family orientated, is more content with his/her existence and is, therefore, more productive in his job (personal contentment being a recognised pyschological factor underpinning productivity). As he is more productive, he doesn't cost the state so much in unemployment allowances, in health care, etc, rather he can make a net contribution in taxes that will help subsidise some individual hooked on alcohol in a crappy overcrowded house in a decrepid estate in Tallaght. He doesn't feel imprisoned in a confined estate, he doesn't feel estranged from his neighbours, he doesn't feel like an anonymous unit because he has no relationship to the society around him. He doesn't therefore, feel the need to try drugs, to drink to excess, to commit acts of vandalism. Yes, all of these factors are interconnected and planners need to start thinking that way. It is not about shifting little boxes on a computer screen and labelling one 'shopping centre', the other 'recreational utility' and so on. It is, however, easier to wag the aggrieved finger at a boreen being re-tarmaced and come out with the old lines of begrudgery.

Yes, you will not get the answers by looking at one or two statistics, but by considering the whole picture, there are other issues at stake. Has anyone carried out a study of the socio-economic consequences of makingthe planning laws on one-off housing so restrictive that people who wish to live in the countryside can no longer do so? Theres a PhD topic for someone.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby jimg » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:47 pm

PDLL, your "bigger picture" is just a bunch of stereotypes of an idylic countryside existance. You make no mention of 2 and half hour commutes. You make no mention that children have to be driven everywhere in cars and have extremely limited social lives outside of school as they are not in a position to independently meet friends. You do not mention the extremely high rate of suicide and depression in the parts of Ireland which have the most dispersed pattern of settlement. Or the fact that sustaining a social life almost necessitates driving while under the influence of alchohol. I always liked this piece which while perhaps overly negative, tallies with some of my own experiences growing up in a once-off.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:12 pm

jimg wrote:PDLL, your "bigger picture" is just a bunch of stereotypes of an idylic countryside existance. You make no mention of 2 and half hour commutes. You make no mention that children have to be driven everywhere in cars and have extremely limited social lives outside of school as they are not in a position to independently meet friends. You do not mention the extremely high rate of suicide and depression in the parts of Ireland which have the most dispersed pattern of settlement. Or the fact that sustaining a social life almost necessitates driving while under the influence of alchohol. I always liked this piece which while perhaps overly negative, tallies with some of my own experiences growing up in a once-off.



I'm not so sure if it is just a bunch of stereotypes. Why then is the crime rate in Dublin is more than twice that in the west per 1,000 of population as is indicated in the statistics noted above. If this is a stereotype then it is one based on fact.

Your 2.5 hour commute is based on the principle that all people who live in one-off houses have to drive for 2.5 hours to get to work. Is this a reasonable generalisation. I think not. Why also do so many people living in very built up parts of suburban Dublin also spend two hours each day in their cars - you do not have to live in a one-off to have that. I accept your points about the social difficulties facing some children, however, in real terms what is the difference between someone having to drive their child from one one-off to another a few miles away and a parent having to drive their child from one estate to another in Tallaght? Fine, if all of your schoolfriends live in the same estate (which is relatively unlikely), but usually they will be spread out over a greater area even in Dublin. Yes there is a problem with suicide and depression, especially in the North West and Border counties. Why? Could the fact that the country is so heavily biased in favour of Dublin in virtually every conceivable way imaginable have something to do with this? Could the fact that the NW and Border counties have been starved of real investment for so long that it makes life their increasingly difficult? Restricting the possibilities of people actually being able to live in such areas will not exactly stimulate economic growth in the countryside and so the cycle continues.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:28 pm

PDLL wrote: http://www.garda.ie/angarda/statistics/report2004/stats2004.pdf

This will give you all the statistics you could want and then some. No - it doesn't discuss societal patterns or settlement patterns and this is exactly my point. The consequences - good, bad or indifferent - of one-off houses can not be simply reduced to 'it costs a lot to tarmac a boreen or to deliver post to a house - therefore its cheaper to live in an estate on a bus route'. This is a simplistic and reductive understanding of how settlement patterns affect our society and economy.


At page 55 the statistics dealing with the number of Children cautioned under the garda JLO scheme is at 0.1617% of young people marginally ahead of the Southern Region at 0.1316% and the South East at 0.1320%. This indicates that the resources being diverted to An Post €] Any debate about prefered forms of settlement should consider the bigger picture (and that includes such 'abstract' issues of personal liberty, as I mentioned earlier). [/QUOTE]

If personal liberty was genuinely being challenged why have we not witnessed an action to the Supreme Court?

PDLL wrote: The answer will not lie in one or two statistics or neat percentages, but collectively these might actually give a broader picture of how things really function. Yes, people see a boreen being tarmaced and the anti-one-off brigade start whining because it allegedly costs those living in somewhere like Crumlin a few extra tax euros. Perhaps, though, the owner of that house on the boreen is more comfortable living in the country, feels less stressed, is more family orientated, is more content with his/her existence and is, therefore, more productive in his job (personal contentment being a recognised pyschological factor underpinning productivity).



Dublin has the lowest per capita unemployment rate in the state and has had for a decade http://www.cso.ie/releasespublications/documents/labour_market/current/lregan.pdf

PDLL wrote: As he is more productive, he doesn't cost the state so much in unemployment allowances, in health care, etc, rather he can make a net contribution in taxes that will help subsidise some individual hooked on alcohol in a crappy overcrowded house in a decrepid estate in Tallaght. He doesn't feel imprisoned in a confined estate, he doesn't feel estranged from his neighbours, he doesn't feel like an anonymous unit because he has no relationship to the society around him. He doesn't therefore, feel the need to try drugs, to drink to excess, to commit acts of vandalism. Yes, all of these factors are interconnected and planners need to start thinking that way. It is not about shifting little boxes on a computer screen and labelling one 'shopping centre', the other 'recreational utility' and so on. It is, however, easier to wag the aggrieved finger at a boreen being re-tarmaced and come out with the old lines of begrudgery.


I have no problem with anyone derving contentment from their abode once it has cleared the planning process and once said person makes a fair contribution to all the costs of their property.

PDLL wrote: Yes, you will not get the answers by looking at one or two statistics, but by considering the whole picture, there are other issues at stake. Has anyone carried out a study of the socio-economic consequences of makingthe planning laws on one-off housing so restrictive that people who wish to live in the countryside can no longer do so? Theres a PhD topic for someone.


I know a person (an intercounty senior GAA player) who started that thesis only to change their opinion of dispersed development patterns mid-thesis and conclude that that form of development required more regulation having considered the evidence.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby jimg » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:07 pm

Is this a reasonable generalisation. I think not.

That's my point. Your argument (besides the crime stats thing) seems to be based on a bunch of one-sided generalisations. Did you read the article I linked to and if so what did you think?
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:27 am

PDLL wrote:take a working class high density housing estate in Tallaght or wherever and compare it to an area comprising 100 one-off houses in Co Mayo. Yes, the one-off houses cost a little more in terms of services...However, how much do you think the corpo houses in Dublin cost the Irish tax payer, how much does the tax payer pay for the consequences of ghetto style housing areas in cities



Frankly PDLL some of your comments are laughable in their preposterousness. When was the last time a person in a lower socio-economic bracket built a one-off house? When was the last time a person on the dole with few prospects in life built a one-off house? When was the last time an individual brought up in an unstable environment with little education or encouragement built a one-off house? When was the last time someone who has experienced nothing but the State failing them every step along the way built a one-off house?

The social failings in urban areas stem not from the nature of their settlement patterns, but primarily because vast numbers of disadvantaged people are dumped in them, with a certain element of historical economic migration also. In fact many of Dublin's disadvantaged areas can be traced right back to the Famine.

Rural areas do not experience the level of crime of urban areas simply because so many of their ills are dumped on cities. The notion that rural living is somehow the wholesome safe alternative for society is so offensive a notion it beggars belief - the very reason they are safer and suffer fewer problems is because middle-class people can afford to 'escape' to these areas, pulling all investment out of urban areas, and I include small rural towns and villages in that. Most of rural areas' ills are simply neatly swept over in a pile on top of major urban settlements.

As a hopefully future urban dweller, I find it offensive how you describe the notion of urban living as problematic in comparison with an apparent 'wholesomeness' of rural environments. The problems cities experience are not urban problems, or rural problems - they are society's problems.
You will probably find the crime levels faced in some the most densely populated areas of Dublin like Glasnevin or Drumcondra are as low as those in many rural areas, as with all of the many thousands of middle-class housing estates going up all over the country. Urban or semi-urban patterns of living are not the problem - rather it is historical failings in society at large, instigated by economic necessity and sustained by State failings.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:43 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:When was the last time a person in a lower socio-economic bracket built a one-off house? When was the last time a person on the dole with few prospects in life built a one-off house?


A very valid point, Graham. Indeed, it is often the case that people who build and own one-off houses are net tax contributors to the economy and - as an obvious result - are more likely to contribute substantially to the maintanence of the country's public infrastructure and health, social welfare and criminal justice systems in over the course fo their tax-paying lives than many urban dwellers are. Logically then, it appears even more niggardly for someone to criticise such net-contributors because they occasionally might have to have a pot-holed filled on the approach road to their house or the post-man might have to drive a bit further to deliver a letter.

In general I agree with your points on the compexity of Ireland's social structure. I disagree, however, with the remark that 'social failings in urban areas stem not from the nature of their settlement patterns'. To dismiss the well-established connection between physical and spatial environment and behavioural psychology is also laughable. Next time you wander past the bread counter at your local supermarket, just remember who is pulling your purse strings - the behavioural pyschologists have you well sussed out. The layout of physical space does influence our behaviour - this is unquestionable. Of course the picture is more complicated than that - crime, unemployment, drug addiction - none of these are influenced by spatial design alone, but this is exactly my point - it is simplistic in the extreme to condemn one-off houses because someone sensationalises the issue by bitching that some guy in Co. Mayo got a new road up to his house at the cost of the tax-payer. This is what I have been arguing all along - perhaps one-off houses have positive economic and social effects, just they cannot be seen because people are focussing on the superficial. Arguments for personal liberty with regard to where and how one lives are also not laughable - I am sure the itinerant community would agree with me on this.

If the 'problems cities experience are not urban problems, or rural problems - they are society's problems', why then do so many people contribute to Ireland's alleged 'urban sprawl' - see other thread on Archiseek on this issue. Why then do so many people WANT to leave the cities and live in the countryside whether it is in one-off houses or suburban estates. Why then are so many willing to face a two hour commute just so they can escape places like central Dublin? I am not foolish enough to believe the countryside is paradise, but neither am I foolish enough to ignore the reality of how many people perceive and experience urban life and who are willing to cough up a lot of money to try to escape it. The problems may be 'society's' problems, but people implicitly identifiy those problems with urban life and lets face it estate agents, advertising agents and architects both know and exploit that fact. Lets not come over all coy on this one. Social reality is shaped by the way it perceives itself and perpetuates itself. Again returning to my original point - things are not as simple or binary as one would wish to see them. That is why I went to the trouble of attempting to tease out some of those complicating factors as many just hear one-off houses and think 'selfish bastards', in the same way that many seem to have some instinctually negative reaction to buildings over 7 storeys in height. I have no vested interest in one-off houses or indeed personal experience of living in one. I recognise, however, that some people may find them a preferred form of settlement and I do not think that anyone has the right to question or limit that right provided those people do not actively interfere with the rights of others. As regards economic factors - ya its crap that the filling of a pothole in a boreen somewhere near Kenmare costs someone in Drumcondra a few tax euros - just in the same way that it is crap that a farmer in Kiltimagh has to pay a few tax euros to fund a drug addiction clinic in Sherriff Street or whereever else for that matter. Life in a unified state that operates a centralized tax system is just shit, isn't it?
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:49 pm

PDLL wrote: Life in a unfied state that operates a centralized tax system is just shit, isn't it?


So what alternative are you proposing?
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 12:58 pm

I am not proposing anything. Every state functions more or less with a centralized tax system - it is normal. My point is - perhaps it is lost somewhere - that opponents of one-off houses should accept that in a state with such a tax system there will always be apparent economic inequalities. In reality, this might mean some one living in such a house may cost the state a couple of extra euros to have a pot-hole filled now and then, but the reality is that that person will also be subsidizing other structures, services, events, and so on in parts of the country that s/he can not and will not benefit from. That is life. Opponents of one-off housing should see that and stop whining about what X is getting and what they are not. I, for example, paid taxes in Ireland for long enough - did I ever benefit from my PRSI payments - no. Did someone on social welfare benefit from a free pair of specs paid from my PRSI dues - most likely yes. Do I whine about this - I hope not. That is the way the system works in a state.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:04 pm

PDLL wrote:Ithis might mean some one living in such a house may cost the state a couple of extra euros to have a pot-hole filled now and then,


No pothole is ever filled in for a couple of euros; expenditure on pothole remediation at the whim of clientist rural councillors is costing €100s of €1,000,000s the extra 10,000s of one offs being built each year will add €100,000,000s to the national budget going forward.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:10 pm

I have a feeling that the message is not getting across. No drug clinic in Sherriff Street is funded by a few euros either! No statue to Phil Lynnott on Grafton Street or wherever is funded by a few euros either - but the point is we all contribute to the central pool of exchequer funds. Sometimes the expenditures benefit us directly, sometimes indirectly, sometimes not at all. Consider the bigger picture and stop bashing a few individuals who manage to benefit from the tax system in a way which you cannot and do not. I am sure you benefit in other ways from their tax euros that they will never.

And if there are so many one-offs being built surely that will make them more economically viable as there will be more houses on a post-man's route to service, one telephone cable will serve more houses..... remember that old argument about Dublin being a series of villages that gradually joined together - well there you have it. It seems that economically the more one-offs there are the better the situation might be!!!
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:34 pm

PDLL wrote: I have a feeling that the message is not getting across. No drug clinic in Sherriff Street is funded by a few euros either!


The message is getting across you have no knowledge of Dublin whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!

Upper Sherriff St is a zone in transtion from industrial to new dockland mixed use featuring some of the most expensive medium density developments in the state whereas Lower Sherriff St has been regenerated to form part of the IFSC, a transport interchange rail/bus and a small number of three storey familly homes provided by Dublin City Council c 1997.

Many of those using Dublin drug clinics are those driven from small country towns and even one off houses who have no option but to migrate to large urban centres to recieve treatment.

PDLL wrote: No statue to Phil Lynnott on Grafton Street or wherever is funded by a few euros either


An interesting example the statue draws tourists from all over the World making a substantial contribution to the tourist economy wheras one offs are costing €100,000,000s as they destroy the landscape and pollute the watercourses. Angling used to be a significant contributor to the economy but the one offs have destroyed some of the finest angling rivers in Europe. :mad:


PDLL wrote: - but the point is we all contribute to the central pool of exchequer funds. Sometimes the expenditures benefit us directly, sometimes indirectly, sometimes not at all. Consider the bigger picture and stop bashing a few individuals who manage to benefit from the tax system in a way which you cannot and do not. I am sure you benefit in other ways from their tax euros that they will never.


Since this government came to power 70,000 individual one off houses have been built] And if there are so many one-offs being built surely that will make them more economically viable as there will be more houses on a post-man's route to service, one telephone cable will serve more houses..... remember that old argument about Dublin being a series of villages that gradually joined together - well there you have it. It seems that economically the more one-offs there are the better the situation might be!!! [/QUOTE]


Dublins major villages developed in pulses and mostly during Victorian times, each district had its own local governemnt structure such as Clontarf, Rathmines and Pembroke; each of which invested significantly in civic facilites and encouraged medium density development. Developing at one house per hectare or less wikl never deliver the types of synergies these bodies did
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby bunch » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:44 pm

great debate here people and a very complex issue. i have just a few comments ;

the arguments supporting one-off housing in rural areas often rely on the historical settlement patterns of the country - i.e. the fact that people have always lived in the countryside. however, is it not true that these patterns of settlement were intimately tied to socio-economic processes (an agriculturally based economy that operated at a relatively localised scale) which made rural settlement possible and necessary - the need for close physical and functional linkages to the countryside was the underlying factor in determining peoples' place of residence - it wasnt a lifestyle choice - it was largely a manifestation of the workings of the rural economy.

today, that rural economy is a very different thing..it doesnt require intensive settlement to make it work - most of the demand for rural housing is urban generated one way or another - coming from individuals/families whose socio-economic ties are predominantly urban-based - i.e. non farming related work. therefore, for most people who want to live in the countryside, it is about choice not necessity - the key question here is - does anyone in the state have a right to build where they wish? - i think the answer is no - if you cannot build anywhere in a city or a town that you wish, is it not equitable that the same rules aply to rural areas? individuals have rights in a democracy but in a republic with a constitution those rights are superceded by the concept of the common good - and this is where sustainability and environmental issues arise.

in summary - a question - if the social and economic conditions which underpin the need for an intensively populated rural society do not exist what justification is there for supporting rural settlement at the scale we currently do?
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 1:49 pm

Thomond Park wrote:The message is getting across you have no knowledge of Dublin whatsoever!!!!!!!!!!

Upper Sherriff St is a zone in transtion from industrial to new dockland mixed use featuring some of the most expensive medium density developments in the state whereas Lower Sherriff St has been regenerated to form part of the IFSC, a transport interchange rail/bus and a small number of three storey familly homes provided by Dublin City Council c 1997.

Many of those using Dublin drug clinics are those driven from small country towns and even one off houses who have no option but to migrate to large urban centres to recieve treatment.


I am talking generically. No I don't know each and every house in the Sherrif Street area, nor do I know the location of each and every drug clinic in Dublin. The point was not about geographical specificity. In the same way, I don't know if a pot-hole has been filled in a boreen somewhere near Kenmare in the last 100 years. I was trying to making an analogy to get a point across about the concept that tax-payers money goes in various directions, some of which may or may not directly benfit us.

[quote="Thomond Park"] An interesting example the statue draws tourists from all over the World making a substantial contribution to the tourist economy wheras one offs are costing €]

Fantastic - I am delighted for the family of Phil Lynnot. I have a feeling though that the handfull of croonies that may actually have visited the statue at its unveiling is not an indication that it will become a premier tourist attraction in its own right. We should maintain some perspective on this. Thin Lizzy was not exactly the Beetles or the Rolling Stones, so I don't think Dublin tourism will benefit to the extent you might wish to imagine from this statue. As regards angling, most river and lake pollution is caused by farming-related polution, and is not domestic in origin. By the way, where do you think the angling visitors stay - yip - one off houses serving as B&Bs - probably the mainstay of Ireland's tourism product.

Even more significantly, what is the most widely known image of Ireland from the tourism point of view - I can tell you it is not a statue of Phil Lynott. It is the immortal cottage - the very epitome of the one-off house. And yes, many tourists come here to see that as that is what they understand Ireland to be - rural houses, solitude, peacefullness. Hence the need for B&Bs in the countryside. They haven't grown in number because they are unpopular. Of course, if we want to get rid of one-off houses, then we should reconsider all cottages. The damned scurge of the 19th century one-off house, it lingers like an albatross over the Celtic Tiger.

[quote="Thomond Park"] Since this government came to power 70,000 individual one off houses have been built]

And half the country didn't benefit from the Millenium fireworks display on the Quays and I didn't benefit from the Cork City of Culture and my friend in Monaghan has never seen the Modell Arts Centre in Sligo. I have never driven on the M1. My aunt didn't benefit from the CAT scan machine in Galway Regional Hospital - where do you draw the line? Someone accused one-off house owners of being me feiners and selfish - Christ.
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Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:28 pm

PDLL wrote:I am talking generically. No I don't know each and every house in the Sherrif Street area, nor do I know the location of each and every drug clinic in Dublin. The point was not about geographical specificity. In the same way, I don't know if a pot-hole has been filled in a boreen somewhere near Kenmare in the last 100 years. I was trying to making an analogy to get a point across about the concept that tax-payers money goes in various directions, some of which may or may not directly benfit us.


Being relatively young and I hope healthy I do not benefit from either old age pension or from those with health problems but I have no objection to either group receiving state funds as such expenditure generally tends to be spread quite evenly on a per capita basis.


PDLL wrote: Fantastic - I am delighted for the family of Phil Lynnot. I have a feeling though that the handfull of croonies that may actually have visited the statue at its unveiling is not an indication that it will become a premier tourist attraction in its own right. We should maintain some perspective on this. Thin Lizzy was not exactly the Beetles or the Rolling Stones, so I don't think Dublin tourism will benefit to the extent you might wish to imagine from this statue.


Lynnott is a significant popular culture icon and has made a large contribution to the development of the now internationally successful indigenous music industry whilst not on the scale of Liverpool the outlay of the statue represents the only civic investment in celebrating all the Internationally successful players such as U2, Enya etc and cost about what the average townland recieved for pot-hole filling prior to either the 2002 general or 2004 national elections. Unlike the potholes the statue will age positvely.

PDLL wrote: As regards angling, most river and lake pollution is caused by farming-related polution, and is not domestic in origin. By the way, where do you think the angling visitors stay - yip - one off houses serving as B&Bs - probably the mainstay of Ireland's tourism product.


The vast majority of successful B & Bs tend to be located either within or directly at the edge of towns]And half the country didn't benefit from the Millenium fireworks display on the Quays and I didn't benefit from the Cork City of Culture and my friend in Monaghan has never seen the Modell Arts Centre in Sligo. I have never driven on the M1. My aunt didn't benefit from the CAT scan machine in Galway Regional Hospital - where do you draw the line? Someone accused one-off house owners of being me feiners and selfish - Christ. [/QUOTE]

On a per capita basis all of those facilities can be justified as the pooled resources accross an entire region combine to make the contribution negligible. In the case of Cork it is evident that the organising committee delivered an excellent programme far in excess of what could be reasonably expected from their modest budget. Pireas the Greek host city for 2006 is planning half the events on a similar budget.

One offs cannot be justified except in very limited circumstances as no-one other than owners benefit in any way whatsoever
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