Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:57 pm

Thomond Park wrote: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.


The tax system doesn't just boild down to the pension, the health service and filling potholes. Who funds the books in your local library? Who paid for the pedestrian crossing down the street from you? Who provides lights for your street at night? Who pays for the flights of some politician to Brussels last week? Who paid for the biros used by the Ombudsman in October 2004?

Is health expenditure spread quite evenly across the country? You must live in Dublin to believe that!

Thomond Park wrote: 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.


Lets keep it real, as the saying goes.

Thomond Park wrote: The vast majority of successful B & Bs tend to be located either within or directly at the edge of towns]

Why then are so many rural B&Bs of the type that appear to cause so much controversy. That is the much maligned large obtrusive modern structures that lack any relationship to the landscape (not my description). Such structures are not paid for without good custom - it seems reasonable to assume therefore that these B&Bs are doing ok. As I know you like to see supporting statistical evidence on such issues, I would be grateful if you could give me a reference to some publicly available information on the economic succes of urban B7Bs in comparison to rural B&Bs. Just a web-site link would satisfy me.

As regards your outcomes - there is a third possibility, although it may not be obvious from the Irish perspective. Some tourists leave their B7Bs in the evening, have a meal somewhere, do not drink alcohol or - as many do - drink within the allowed limits and then drive safely back to the B&B. Or, they might even have a designated driver for each night of their holiday. They might also buy food that day in a local supermarket or shop on the way to the B&B and eat it there that night. Maybe I am strange, but I love to stay at out-of-the way B&Bs in France and pensions in Germany and Austria. For people who live in Europe's cities this is often the primary objective of their holiday - to escape urban life.

Thomond Park wrote: 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.


Yes, the pooled resources across an entire country combine to make the contribution negligible. That is why the filling of pot-holes in rural Ireland probably costs you personally about 10 cent per annum, probably about the same as it costs to buy tents for the army in 2003. Maybe you are unique and you get a detailed tax -bill break down indicating how many thousands of euros you have contributed to the boreen network of Ireland. I never got this. What the Cork organizing committee did or din't do is also irrelevant. The point is that we all contribute to a central pool of funds, some of which we benefit from, some of which we don't. I, for example, saw no point in the Spire in Dublin. It has hardly become a major symbol of Ireland and doesn't really reflect anything 'Irish'. If it is a national symbol, then it could have been put somehwere 'down the country'. I have not benefited from it directly or indirectly. It probably cost as much as the repair bill for a thousand boreens for 4 years. Do I whine about it and complain about those me feiners in Dublin that have the joy of catching a brief glimpse of it every morning from the bus. No.

Still haven't heard any comment on getting rid of cottages, those particularly functionless, energy wasting, blights on the landscape.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 3:59 pm

PDLL wrote:The tax system doesn't just boild down to the pension, the health service and filling potholes. Who funds the books in your local library? Who paid for the pedestrian crossing down the street from you? Who provides lights for your street at night?


Local authorities who are finding it increasingly difficult to do so as so many of their resources are being eaten up in resurfacing roads and refuse collection as well as cleaning up the effects of defective septic tanks.

PDLL wrote:Who pays for the flights of some politician to Brussels last week? Who paid for the biros used by the Ombudsman in October 2004?


Again both justifiable on a per capita basis

PDLL wrote:Is health expenditure spread quite evenly across the country? You must live in Dublin to believe that! Lets keep it real, as the saying goes.


On foot of the Hanly report all health services are to be built around centres of excellence inline with international best practice] Why then are so many rural B&Bs of the type that appear to cause so much controversy. That is the much maligned large obtrusive modern structures that lack any relationship to the landscape (not my description). Such structures are not paid for without good custom - it seems reasonable to assume therefore that these B&Bs are doing ok. As I know you like to see supporting statistical evidence on such issues, I would be grateful if you could give me a reference to some publicly available information on the economic succes of urban B7Bs in comparison to rural B&Bs. Just a web-site link would satisfy me. [/QUOTE]

I would like to see all such facilites audited to see just how many of them are genuine B & Bs on a standalone basis and how many are PPRs masquerading to recieve EU and National funds not to mention writing off the costs of their 4 x 4s as 'business vehicles.

PDLL wrote: As regards your outcomes - there is a third possibility, although it may not be obvious from the Irish perspective. Some tourists leave their B7Bs in the evening, have a meal somewhere, do not drink alcohol or - as many do - drink within the allowed limits and then drive safely back to the B&B. Or, they might even have a designated driver for each night of their holiday. They might also buy food that day in a local supermarket or shop on the way to the B&B and eat it there that night. Maybe I am strange, but I love to stay at out-of-the way B&Bs in France and pensions in Germany and Austria. For people who live in Europe's cities this is often the primary objective of their holiday - to escape urban life.


This type of tourist has steadily declined over the past decade witrh recent research indicating that typical visitors are travelling more often and staying in urban locations such as Cork Belfast or Dublin. Even tho9se who have a designated driver will see diminished consumption and as a result lower income.


PDLL wrote: Yes, the pooled resources across an entire country combine to make the contribution negligible. That is why the filling of pot-holes in rural Ireland probably costs you personally about 10 cent per annum, probably about the same as it costs to buy tents for the army in 2003.


€1bn per annum equates to €112.50 per average taxpayer that is only non-national road expenditure.


PDLL wrote: Maybe you are unique and you get a detailed tax -bill break down indicating how many thousands of euros you have contributed to the boreen network of Ireland. I never got this. What the Cork organizing committee did or din't do is also irrelevant. The point is that we all contribute to a central pool of funds, some of which we benefit from, some of which we don't. I, for example, saw no point in the Spire in Dublin. It has hardly become a major symbol of Ireland and doesn't really reflect anything 'Irish'. If it is a national symbol, then it could have been put somehwere 'down the country'. I have not benefited from it directly or indirectly. It probably cost as much as the repair bill for a thousand boreens for 4 years. Do I whine about it and complain about those me feiners in Dublin that have the joy of catching a brief glimpse of it every morning from the bus. No.

Still haven't heard any comment on getting rid of cottages, those particularly functionless, energy wasting, blights on the landscape.



Your point is?
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:27 pm

Thomond Park wrote: On foot of the Hanly report all health services are to be built around centres of excellence inline with international best practice]

Not a bad idea, Maybe then two thirds of the country wouldn't have to drive to Dublin everytime they need treatment for anything worse than a broken arm. Obviously centres of excellence are important. However, the provision of a CAT scan machine, as one minor example, to a general hospital in one of the regions has nothing to do with excellence or research. It has to do with the provision of basic medical care which many tax payers around the country do not enjoy DESPITE PAYING FOR IT!. Again, if you do live in Dublin you would not realise that in a modern European country (and allegedly a wealthy one) it is unusal for one to have to travel to the capital city for treatments and technology that are not rare, particularly difficult, or expensive. Welcome to life outside the Pale.


Thomond Park wrote: I would like to see all such facilites audited to see just how many of them are genuine B & Bs on a standalone basis and how many are PPRs masquerading to recieve EU and National funds not to mention writing off the costs of their 4 x 4s as 'business vehicles.


I presume this means that you cannot support your earlier assertion that urban B&Bs are more successful than rural ones. Which particular EU and national funds does the average rural B&B get? By the way, don't forget, as part of the country's tourist infrastructure (tourism being one of its biggest income earners), B&B owners also pay taxes.

Thomond Park wrote: This type of tourist has steadily declined over the past decade witrh recent research indicating that typical visitors are travelling more often and staying in urban locations such as Cork Belfast or Dublin. Even tho9se who have a designated driver will see diminished consumption and as a result lower income.


What 'type of tourist'? What research? References? Please support your suggestion with regard to urban tourism. From your post, I can only take it that the best type of tourist that Ireland can attract is the alcoholic type. Great. You have this in Temple Bar - is this what we want to attract. Is this a vision of Ireland's tourist industry that appeals to you. Get them in, get them pissed, let them puke it all up beside Phil Lynnots statue, shag a few of the local birds so we will have a few more industrial workers for the next generation, a few burgers and bobs your uncle. With that vision of urban tourism, is it any wonder people would want to live in one off houses in the country. I'd be off the Azores myself. Please don't ever work for Bord Failte.

Thomond Park wrote: €1bn per annum equates to €112.50 per average taxpayer that is only non-national road expenditure.

Just for clarity - this implies that ALL non-national roads in Ireland are private driveways to one-off houses! Am I right? Do you never use non-national roads? Perhaps this is because all of the decent roads in Ireland are around Dublin. Have you never, perchance, driven to the beach, the mountains, the bog, anywhere beyond a national route? I know I do quite often and I don't own a one-off house. To suggest therefore that the 1bn euros for non-national roads is somehow the 'bill' that must be paid for filling potholes for one-off house owners is disingenuous, misleading and generally in the sensationalist tone that I described above often adopted by opponents to one-off houses.

Thomond Park wrote: Your point is?


My point is that my tax money was used to pay for probably three square mms of the Spire. I wish it hadn't been because I couldn't care less about the stupid thing. That is life though. I partly funded the erection of a monstrosity in Dublin, someone in Dublin funds the filling in of a pothole now and then in Co. Kerry. Life sucks. Im just glad that there are nice B&Bs around the country where I can get away from it all.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby jimg » Fri Jan 20, 2006 4:40 pm

And yes, many tourists come here to see that as that is what they understand Ireland to be - rural houses, solitude, peacefullness.

You have got to be kidding PDLL if you think tourists enjoy looking at once-off houses dotted all over the countryside. Tourists are voting with their feet and are more and more of them are sticking with visiting cities. The stats are there to prove it. Of course, the O'Cuiv type professional whingers will immediately blame Dublin-centric development as the reason and will demand that Bord Failte et al. do more for them instead of facing the fact that by building all over areas of natural beauty they are killing the golden goose themselves through short-sighted greed.
jimg
Member
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:07 pm
Location: Zürich

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:01 pm

I think jimg the full quote adds a bit more to what I was saying:

FULL quote:
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.

'That' in the above quote refers to the reference to the cottage, not the modern one-off house. Yes, tourists still like to see traditional cottages as this is the image they have of Ireland.

Reasons why tourists may (still haven't seen any absolute facts to support it) be turning away from rural tourism:

- fact: roads are seriously crap by European standards around the country;
- fact: an increased number people are taking weekend breaks due to cheap flights - by their nature weekend breaks focus on cities near airports;
- lack of real tourist amenities in the countryside as country is so biased towards Dublin (you can call this whining if it makes you feel better, it doesn't take away from the fact that it is a fact).

What type of tourism is becoming more popular in the cities: the Temple Bar form of tourism?

Tourists who do come here for longer periods and want to see the countryside also want to stay in decent accomodation - hence the popularity of good quality, clean, modern, comfortable B&Bs.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:18 pm

PDLL wrote:
Reasons why tourists may (still haven't seen any absolute facts to support it) be turning away from rural tourism:
What type of tourism is becoming more popular in the cities: the Temple Bar form of tourism?


Reason: Ireland has lost the attractions that high end desinations such as Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand and Chile possess >>>>>>>>>>> intact landscape
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:29 pm

Ireland is also much more expensive now. As regards intact landscapes and one-off houses, Switzerland has more than its fair share of one-off houses - they dot the alpine regions quite liberally. Only difference is they are normally inifinitely more attractive than just about anything ever built in Ireland - oh, and people take pride in their properties so they don't look like shit-holes. And if you think one-off houses in Ireland are economically unsustainable, then what happens when the postman has to drive half way up a mountain to deliver a letter! It happens.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:39 pm

PDLL wrote: Ireland is also much more expensive now. .


True but Ireland is still cheap in relation to either Norway or Switzerland and certainly cheaper than long-haul flights to Santiago and connecting flights to Puerte Monte



PDLL wrote: As regards intact landscapes and one-off houses, Switzerland has more than its fair share of one-off houses - they dot the alpine regions quite liberally. .


In fertile areas CH has equivelnt densities to Meath c1970 no high ground or poor land is regularly developed there unlike planners being overuled by county mangers in relation to percolation test suitability.


PDLL wrote: Only difference is they are normally inifinitely more attractive than just about anything ever built in Ireland - oh, and people take pride in their properties so they don't look like shit-holes. And if you think one-off houses in Ireland are economically unsustainable, then what happens when the postman has to drive half way up a mountain to deliver a letter! It happens.


I agree that the typical Swiss punter has better visual appreciation but I cannot understand what point you are trying to make in regards to driving half way up a mountain; it doesn't typically happen in CH they protect their landscapes away from the resorts.
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:51 pm

What I meant by driving half way up a mountain was that one-off houses are widespread in countries such as Switzerland and Austria. Despite the fact that the physical challenges are much greater in terms of say connecting and providing services (eg. the post), there is no great campaign to prohibit people from building Alpine houses. Nor is there any stigma about living in a one-off house in a scenic area. It is also worth bearing in mind, that one-off houses in Switzerland and Austria tend to be enormous in comparison to even the most extravagant one-offs in Ireland. This is still not a problem. Why then are one offs such a problem in Ireland?
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:53 pm

An example - not small.
Attachments
580006.jpg
580006.jpg (18.39 KiB) Viewed 2271 times
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:59 pm

PDLL wrote:An example - not small.



CH has always been built around traditional agricultural settlements in the valley floors supported by rich alluvial deposits from its glacial landscape; the photo you have supplied gives no indication that this 1950-1960's property is in any way isolated from the development boundary.;
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:10 pm

One-offish enough?



You wrote as some kind of justification for one-off house in Switzerland:
'CH has always been built around traditional agricultural settlements in the valley floors supported by rich alluvial deposits from its glacial landscape'

Allow me to re-phrase that just a little:

'Ireland has always been built around traditional agricultural settlements in its coastal areas supported by rich coastal resources from its Atlantic landscape'

I presume therefore that this justifies the building of one-offs around our coast. Is the debate over?
Attachments
lauterbrunnen.jpg
lauterbrunnen.jpg (36.62 KiB) Viewed 2274 times
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:18 pm

PDLL wrote: One-offish enough?



You wrote as some kind of justification for one-off house in Switzerland:
'CH has always been built around traditional agricultural settlements in the valley floors supported by rich alluvial deposits from its glacial landscape'


Look at the number of planning applicactions in CH for dwellings outside the development boundary in each of the cantons and the comparison with Ireland exposes how spurious arguments pervade within this juristiction.


PDLL wrote: Allow me to re-phrase that just a little:

'Ireland has always been built around traditional agricultural settlements in its coastal areas supported by rich coastal resources from its Atlantic landscape'

I presume therefore that this justifies the building of one-offs around our coast. Is the debate over?



Traditional development patterns in Irelnad pre 1970 rarely touched the coast with the exception of lighthouses for climatic reasons excluding natural harbours such as Kinslae and Clifden.

Your ready jump appears not only premature but also misinformed
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:26 pm

Thomond Park wrote:Traditional development patterns in Irelnad pre 1970 rarely touched the coast with the exception of lighthouses for climatic reasons excluding natural harbours such as Kinslae and Clifden.

Your ready jump appears not only premature but also misinformed


Have you forgotten Galway? I suppose that is why at a guess about 80% of the population has settled within a few miles of the sea or a major inlet (?) Irish people have since the very beginning of human settlement on the island settled near or on the coast - have a look at the landscape of the Knocknarea peninsula in Sligo. My knowledge of Irish georgraphy, archaeology and history must be profoundly worse than I ever imagined, as indeed must my eyesight.

The debate may not be over, but it has taken some serious deviations from logic.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby jimg » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:29 pm

Reasons why tourists may (still haven't seen any absolute facts to support it) be turning away from rural tourism:

- fact: roads are seriously crap by European standards around the country;
- fact: an increased number people are taking weekend breaks due to cheap flights - by their nature weekend breaks focus on cities near airports;
- lack of real tourist amenities in the countryside as country is so biased towards Dublin (you can call this whining if it makes you feel better, it doesn't take away from the fact that it is a fact).


I'll grant you that the growth in weekend holidays tends to funnel visitors to the cities but your other two "facts" make no sense. The roads were much much worse 10/15 years ago and there were fewer amenities (like "interpretive" centres and other such "attractions") yet the proportion of tourists' time spent in the countryside was much higher. Your defence of once-off housing on the basis that it represents what tourists want to see in Ireland is ludicrous. Instead of fondly imagining what tourists want to see in the Irish countryside you should ask them. I had some foreign friends over for a few days over the christmas/new year and I brought them around Kerry and Mayo. The bits they liked were the carefully selected isolated, relatively uninhabited parts (the state of the roads didn't seem to bother them at all actually) and they also liked some of the towns and villages we stopped in. They were vocally unimpressed with the once-off development spreading along every R road (and even many N roads) in the country and in areas of natural beauty.
jimg
Member
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:07 pm
Location: Zürich

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:45 pm

PDLL wrote: Have you forgotten Galway?


My family originate from about 2kms from Galway city] I suppose that is why at a guess about 80% of the population has settled within a few miles of the sea or a major inlet (?) Irish people have since the very beginning of human settlement on the island settled near or on the coast - [/QUOTE]

This is as outlined above and historical OS records a very new phenomenum


PDLL wrote: have a look at the landscape of the Knocknarea peninsula in Sligo. My knowledge of Irish georgraphy, archaeology and history must be profoundly worse than I ever imagined, as indeed must my eyesight.

The debate may not be over, but it has taken some serious deviations from logic.


The peninsula you refer to has its most significant archaeological features on raised ground the ancient chieftans wanted immortality and were quite risk adverse when it came to climatic risk
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:50 pm

I give you the view from Annan Bryce’s Grecian Temple on the wonderful Ilnacullin Island in West Cork.

Image


On a typically touristy visit there, the jaws of the people I was with, with no prompting quite literally hit the ground upon seeing the ravaged view – one of Ireland’s most important and unique scenic views, framed into a vista by architectural elements in one of the country’s most significant gardens and State properties, peppered with private bungalows.


Image

It truly beggars belief.

Now on close inspection it does seem as if some date from the late 70s and early 80s but frankly I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if permission for a mini-estate of banana-pasted semis was granted for over there even today, to ‘take advantage’ of the spectacular views of the lake. Take advantage indeed.

PDLL I think most people accept the principle of a centralised taxation system, and the implications it has for society at large. However deliberately pursuing a planning policy, which generally speaking has more lasting consequences than other areas of expenditure in the social arena, whereby comparatively well-off people with no connection to the land build where they like how they like to the detriment of society at large is simply not an equitable arrangement. Whereas yes, certain ways of life ought to be supported by the state regardless of the cost such as agriculture and those connected to or otherwise working the land, this ought not to extend to everyone by any means.

Again I come back to this notion of an urban-rural divide you seem to be propagating PDLL – you simply cannot compare like with like when saying that rural dwellers are supporting ‘the way of life’ of cities by funding social ills etc. This disadvantage does not ‘belong’ to the rest of urban dwellers. If you insist on comparing urban and rural areas in the social stakes, at least do so fairly. If, as you agree that generally only comparatively well-off middle class people live in one-offs, and that they make net contributions to the state, well it is only fair that you compare them only with comfortable middle-class urban dwellers, who incidentally also make a net contribution, but at a fraction of the ancillary costs to the state.

Far from it being the case in the 18th and 19th centuries when the wealthy lived on top of each other in towns and cities and the poorest scattered about the countryside working the land, the opposite is now the case, or at the very least a redistribution of wealth has occurred. The pattern and scale of one-off development today is not in the slightest rooted in historical precedent and should not be sustained, not on that latter basis as things ought not always stay the same, but on the destruction that is being done to the environment, landscapes and to the distribution of state funds.
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:28 pm

jimg wrote: Your defence of once-off housing on the basis that it represents what tourists want to see in Ireland is ludicrous


I thought I had cleared this one up – I NEVER said that tourists come to Ireland to see one off houses. I said that they came to see cottages as that is an element of the stereotypical image of Ireland which many tourists have and wish to see. I said that they often STAY in one-off houses serving as B&Bs. Mind you, since cottages are the one-off houses of the 19th century, then maybe they do actually come to see one-off houses, but I have a feeling you won't see it this way.


Thomand Park wrote: the resources that sustained the clan came from Lough Corrib]

This has to be a first – was the sea marginal to the lives of Galway people over the centuries? Doubtful. Why was it such a successful trading port in the medieval period? If Lough Corrib was so important why then did Galway develop on the sea and not further up the lake. Must have been because getting those ships from Spain down the lake would have been a bit tricky. Galway developed on the sea because it was a port first and foremost – it needed the sea – to suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

Thomand Park wrote: This is as outlined above and historical OS records a very new phenomenum


Not sure what this means: does it mean that settlement beside the coast is a new phenomenon or that the OS records that settlement is now moving away from the coast?

Both would be wrong in my understanding of Irish demographics. The Irish population has always been focused on the coast – Athlone is about the only town of any size in the midlands and even it is based on our longest river. The population continues to move steadily towards the coast as this is where effectively all of our urban centres are located. I am a bit surprised that an Irish person would disagree with the idea that we have always been and continue to be a nation of largely coastal settlements. With arguments like this, it hardly raises confidence in me with regard to the legitimacy of your arguments against one-off houses!



Thomand Park wrote: The peninsula you refer to has its most significant archaeological features on raised ground the ancient chieftans wanted immortality and were quite risk adverse when it came to climatic risk


Most of the archaeological features on Knocknarea peninsula are on slightly raised ground are than lies in the middle of the peninsula – ALL of these monuments are within a 60 minute walk (5-10 minute drive) of the coast. It is a well established fact that whatever community existed in the area during the Neolithic period survived by exploiting the sea. If you walk along the beaches of that peninsula you will see a huge number of midden shell sites (some 2m deep) where the local population gathered and processed/ate shell fish. The reason that the community settled in this area is because of the sea – the gentle rise of ground that the majority of the monuments stand on proffers NO protection from the elements, other than from a high tide.

Graham – indeed, it does beggar belief that someone could construct a mock Grecian Temple is such a location. It is completely out of context – well nigh an obscenity. The two bungalows, however, DO have an historical context. I wonder would your tourist companions have been so horrified if there had been two nice little crannogs nestled on the waters-edge or two nice little thatched cottages. I'm sure that their digital cameras would have been hopping with excitement. Odd that, both crannogs and cottages were the one-off settlements of their time as indeed these two bungalows are of our time. They HAVE an historical context within Irish cultural history. They may not be as pretty as a Swiss chalet or an artisan's house in Bruge, but they ARE rooted in a cultural context. It may take you two hundred years to see theat – I hope you live long enough to realize what I am getting at. Oddly enough, Ireland was NEVER an urban land, nor were the Celts an urban race – urbanism is a recent phenomenon in Ireland (really only since the 1970s in any really significant sense, although I know we have had cities and towns since much earlier). So if we are talking about who comes first in the historical precedent stakes, you will have to face up to the fact that it is the one-off settlement.

Your comment that:

'The pattern and scale of one-off development today is not in the slightest rooted in historical precedent and should not be sustained'

is, in my opinion, laughable. It shows no understanding of the cultural and historical context of settlement development in Ireland and displays a lack of sensitivity to the way in which the country and its people have developed over the last 10,000 years which is singularly deficient. Contrary to what you have written, Ireland has always been a nation of one-off settlers – the minority choosing to settle in towns only when exposed to the influence of foreign invaders such as the Vikings and the Anglo-Normans.

To support this assertion, lets look at the historical precedent:

- over 60,000 ringforts are still extant in this country. How many countless thousands have been destroyed through agriculture or have simply faded into the landscape – we will never know. Regardless, the figures reflect a large number of one-off settlements even from early times.
- - lets consider one-off cottages during the immediate pre-famine period. With a population of 8,000,000, there must have been quite a number of one-offs. Lets conjecture. Of that 8m, I would guess about .5m lived in Dublin and the other cities and towns. That leaves about 7.5 million living in houses dotted around the country. Lets take an average of about 10 people per house. That gives us a guestimate of about 750,000 one-off houses. Not bad. Sounds like grounds for historical precedent to me. If there is a historian out there, maybe they could offer more accurate estimates.

The fact of the matter is that some people have a vision of Ireland that is comprised of Dublin, the great sprawling metropolis, and the other regional and token gateway cities. In between – a green swathe of weekend leisure land – a vacant nature reserve that serves no other function than to allow the urbane urbanites to don their Alpine Low hiking boots and to 'get out there' into the wild west so that they can bond with nature before returning to the big smoke. Of course, they are only too glad to get back into their SUVs as who would really want to live 'out there' in the shitty windy winter months. Oddly enough, many do want to live 'out there' – many do want to live in parts of the country that have been settled from the earliest times of human settlement in Ireland, many do want to continue the tradition of living near to nature. Yes, the decline and alteration of the agricultural industry has meant that many of those one-off settlers no longer 'toil the land' but rather fund their existences in other ways. Nothing new there. When the first settlers arrived in Ireland there was no agricultural industry either (in fact, there wasn't even the concept of agriculture)– many lived off what the sea offered. That did not de-legitimise their living in one-off houses. In that context, living in one-offs is as traditional as bacon and cabbage, Irish dancing and the bodhran. What is alien to Irish culture is living in cities and perhaps that is why we seem to be incapable of effective town planning.

In effect, therefore, there are a number of reasons that one-offs should remain an integral element of Irish society – they are a continuation of our well-established pre-Anglo cultural settlement patterns, they offer people a valid and worthwhile alternative to urban life and the manifold social and infrastructural problems associated with it, and they demonstrate and incarnate the basic principle of a peaceful and open democracy, namely personal freedom. In that regard, given their unique contribution to sustaining the originally non-urban Celtic settlement patterns they should receive heritage funding from the Government. Their cultural value alone, aside from their practical tourist function as B&Bs, surely must warrant an increase in the amount of tax euros paid to such home owners.

Mind you, that obscene Greek temple should definitely go.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby Devin » Sun Jan 22, 2006 9:18 pm

Image

It must be stressed that this house is strongly rooted in the cultural and historical context of the crannog settlement ....




Image

Anywhere you like ....




Image

The higher the better ....




Image

Couldn't give a fuck ....
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:47 pm

All that these images demonstrate is that the modern one-off human settlement does not have the same physical appearance as a crannog. There is nothing surprising in this – neither do they look like 19th century cottages. Because the morphology of habitation types changes doesn’t mean that they have any less validity in terms of the place they fill in the settlement patterns of a culture. Insofar as the houses detailed above are concerned, yes – they do represent a continuation of one-off rural settlements embodied in earlier forms of one-off habitation such as the crannog and the cottage. Not surprisingly, their form may have changed, but their function as residences designed for human habitation has not. I could add in about 100 photos of houses and buildings around Dublin which have no historical precedent or cultural context in terms of their design and location.

Running through some of the main arguments against one-off houses, we have now seen that:

1. one-off houses are not necessarily the great drain on the urban tax payer as has been made out: they are often owned and built by net tax contributors; many are owned by people connected to the agricultural industry, many also function as B&Bs and therefore make an important contribution to the local and national economy;
2. they have an historical and cultural precedent – more so, indeed, than any form of urban habitation in Ireland;
3. in terms of the environmental effects of the dependence of one-off house owners on cars in comparison to that of city-dwelling drivers, it is well known that cars emit more fumes and consume more petrol when they are endlessly stopping and staring in traffic. As this form of driving is typical of urban driving and relatively free flowing driving is typical of that found on rural roads, it is fair to suggest that the damage done by one-off house cars is less than that done by urban-based vehicles.
4. in terms of one-off houses being ‘subsidized’ by city-dwellers taxes, it has been shown that the reverse is also the case in a great range of areas – a centralized tax system doesn’t benefit all of us all of the time – that is reality for everyone;
5. one-off houses encapsulate the principle of democratic choice – people should, within reason and with due respect for the rights of others, have the choice of living in a rural landscape if they so choose;
6. the question of sustainability – people have argued that one-off houses are not economically or environmentally sustainable, yet point out the huge number of such houses being built every year. Surely, in many cases, the larger the number of such houses, the more sustainable they become insofar as it will make servicing them more economical;
7. the question of purpose: one-off houses no longer have a function – they are no longer owned by farmers and no longer have any immediate functional relationship with the land- so the argument goes at least. Surely a similar argument can be made for the use of small artisan houses throughout Dublin, many of which were built to house workers to serve local industries and the docks. Is it legitimate then for these houses to be converted into little yuppy pads since they no longer have any connection to their original function? Is it legitimate to continue to build their modern equivalents (2 bedroom apartments) near the docks – I don’t see many yuppies putting on their donkey jackets to unload coal in Dublin port.
8. one-off houses lead to social isolation – surely this is for the one-off owner to decide – surely this is a matter of personal social choice that should be determined by the person that makes that lifestyle choice. A city-dweller should not assume the arrogant right of determining what is a suitable form of social existence for someone who doesn’t live in a city/town;

So we are left with two possibilities: one-offs do not fit the utopian vision of the countryside which urban-dwellers have clung to since the industrial revolution and are, therefore, aesthetically objectionable; or, urban-dwellers are envious that given house prices in urban areas they will never be able to afford to construct a house that fulfils their spatial needs or lifestyle desires. If this is to do with aesthetics, well, lets face it – Irish urban houses are hardly the embodiment of all things architecturally great.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:28 pm

PDLL wrote: All that these images demonstrate is that the modern one-off human settlement does not have the same physical appearance as a crannog. There is nothing surprising in this – neither do they look like 19th century cottages. Because the morphology of habitation types changes doesn’t mean that they have any less validity in terms of the place they fill in the settlement patterns of a culture. Insofar as the houses detailed above are concerned, yes – they do represent a continuation of one-off rural settlements embodied in earlier forms of one-off habitation such as the crannog and the cottage. Not surprisingly, their form may have changed, but their function as residences designed for human habitation has not. I could add in about 100 photos of houses and buildings around Dublin which have no historical precedent or cultural context in terms of their design and location.



Running through some of the main arguments against one-off houses, we have now seen that:

PDLL wrote: 1. one-off houses are not necessarily the great drain on the urban tax payer as has been made out: they are often owned and built by net tax contributors]

PDDL as you well know school buses postal companies and accidents caused by drunk drivers who have no potential to walk to the pub cost the entire population a huge amount of money and this cannot be allowed to continue

PDLL wrote: 2. they have an historical and cultural precedent – more so, indeed, than any form of urban habitation in Ireland]

You have not proven this whatsoever; by its nature a one off house can never be part of a clachan

PDLL wrote: 3. in terms of the environmental effects of the dependence of one-off house owners on cars in comparison to that of city-dwelling drivers, it is well known that cars emit more fumes and consume more petrol when they are endlessly stopping and staring in traffic. As this form of driving is typical of urban driving and relatively free flowing driving is typical of that found on rural roads, it is fair to suggest that the damage done by one-off house cars is less than that done by urban-based vehicles.


This is ridiculous if someone drives 20-95 miles to get to work they will of course consume far more fuel than someone driving 5 miles or taking the train or bus. This is typical of your attitude to discussion.

PDLL wrote: 4. in terms of one-off houses being ‘subsidized’ by city-dwellers taxes, it has been shown that the reverse is also the case in a great range of areas – a centralized tax system doesn’t benefit all of us all of the time – that is reality for everyone]

There is a massive difference between constant benifit to the individual and what a typical citizen may possibly recieve at some stage of their life. Expenditure such as Old age pensions, unemployment benefit or policing are reasonable as most people will recieve them at some stage of their life; subsidising McMansions half way up a mountain is not equitable as the expenditure benefits only a small fraction of the population.

PDLL wrote: 5. one-off houses encapsulate the principle of democratic choice – people should, within reason and with due respect for the rights of others, have the choice of living in a rural landscape if they so choose]

So there are no limits? If the Archbishop of Dublin decided he wished to build a house in Merrion Square would this be acceptable?

PDLL wrote: 6. the question of sustainability – people have argued that one-off houses are not economically or environmentally sustainable, yet point out the huge number of such houses being built every year. Surely, in many cases, the larger the number of such houses, the more sustainable they become insofar as it will make servicing them more economical]

No it is putting more effluent into the ground water causing more wells to be contaminated as well as increasing Co2 emmissions which will lead to higher carbon tax fines when Ireland fails to meet its Kyoto protocol obligations. Not to mention higher ESB charges, school bus emmisions, medical call outs etc

PDLL wrote: 7. the question of purpose: one-off houses no longer have a function – they are no longer owned by farmers and no longer have any immediate functional relationship with the land- so the argument goes at least. Surely a similar argument can be made for the use of small artisan houses throughout Dublin, many of which were built to house workers to serve local industries and the docks. Is it legitimate then for these houses to be converted into little yuppy pads since they no longer have any connection to their original function? Is it legitimate to continue to build their modern equivalents (2 bedroom apartments) near the docks – I don’t see many yuppies putting on their donkey jackets to unload coal in Dublin port.


Pathetic

[quote="PDLL"] 8. one-off houses lead to social isolation – surely this is for the one-off owner to decide – surely this is a matter of personal social choice that should be determined by the person that makes that lifestyle choice. A city-dweller should not assume the arrogant right of determining what is a suitable form of social existence for someone who doesn’t live in a city/town]

Roscommon has the highest per capita rate of senile dementia is the EU which is a statisitical fact; treating the resultant patients again costs money.

[quote="PDLL"] So we are left with two possibilities: one-offs do not fit the utopian vision of the countryside which urban-dwellers have clung to since the industrial revolution and are, therefore, aesthetically objectionable]

The industry is producing 50,000 & group homes per year; if less of the scarce construction resources were engaged in the additional site works required on one offs and were building on freindlier sites at the edge of urban settlements 100,000 units a year could be a reality. But 4000 sq ft one off houses are preventing this and making even more of our young people without homes
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:57 pm

Thomond Park wrote:Running through some of the main arguments against one-off houses, we have now seen that:



Thomond Park wrote: PDDL as you well know school buses postal companies and accidents caused by drunk drivers who have no potential to walk to the pub cost the entire population a huge amount of money and this cannot be allowed to continue


So drunk driving is a rural one-off house phenomenon. This is like me saying that joy-riding is solely an urban phenomenon. Then again, this was exactly the type of simplistic country-city argument that I was criticised for earlier in this thread! Interesting.


Thomond Park wrote: You have not proven this whatsoever]

If I have not proven that one-off settlements in Ireland have a historical or cultural precedent then you demand a higher level of evidence than a high court judge. I will re-state it: there have been one-off settlements in Ireland since the first settlement of the island 10,000 years or so ago. For most of that time, one-off settlements were the primary form of settlement in the country. Only until about 1,000 years ago with the arrival fo the Vikings, did any form of large scale urban settlement take place in Ireland. Even then, it took a further 700 years before we had anything close to a city of some size. I repeat - one-off settlements have an infinitely longer and richer cultural and historical precedent in Ireland that any form of urban settlement. If you don't accept this, I am lost for words.


Thomond Park wrote: This is ridiculous if someone drives 20-95 miles to get to work they will of course consume far more fuel than someone driving 5 miles or taking the train or bus. This is typical of your attitude to discussion.


Driving without major hindrance for an hour in the country to get to a town or sitting in your car for an hour on the Naas dual carriageway - guess who does more damage to the environment? The latter.


Thomond Park wrote:
Expenditure such as Old age pensions, unemployment benefit or policing are reasonable as most people will recieve them at some stage of their life]

This is a simplistic view of where your taxes go. Pensions and the dole only account for an element of the annual tax take and expenditure - there are a hundred other things taxes are spent on - some will benefit you, some won't - accept that as a matter of economic and social fact.


Thomond Park wrote:
So there are no limits? If the Archbishop of Dublin decided he wished to build a house in Merrion Square would this be acceptable?.


I never said there shouldn't be limits. For example, that Grecian Temple in Graham Hickey's post above is on eof the worst abominations that could be possible inflicted on the countryside. There are planning regulations - they should be obeyed. This , however, should not mean that one section of society should be able to decide wholesale how another section of society should exist or the form of reasonable habitation inwhich they choose to exist. I do not hear one-off owners complaing about the number of anti-social 2 bedroom apartments being built in Dublin and the damaging effect that such apartments will potentially have on the fabric of our cities and the social values of our state.

Thomond Park wrote: No it is putting more effluent into the ground water causing more wells to be contaminated as well as increasing Co2 emmissions which will lead to higher carbon tax fines when Ireland fails to meet its Kyoto protocol obligations.


And the Liffey is a model of environmental perfection - ya right. And Dublin doesn't contribute its fair share tio Ireland's CO2 emissions. Ya right. You really need to take your head of the smog.

Thomond Park wrote:
Pathetic.


Was that a counter-argument?

[quote="Thomond Park"] Roscommon has the highest per capita rate of senile dementia is the EU which is a statisitical fact]

And Dublin has a much greater problem with illegal drugs than Roscommon. That is a statistical fact. Treating and policing and providing the required social rehab facilities again costs money. Again though, this was the type of simplistic argument I was criticised for earlier. Why - because it might actually mean admitting that people who live in one-off settlements partly subsidize the treatment of such problems in our cities. That doesn't fit well with the argument against those damn one-off parasites.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:59 pm

deleted due to error in posting above post twice
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:18 pm

PDLL wrote:
And Dublin has a much greater problem with illegal drugs than Roscommon. That is a statistical fact. Treating and policing and providing the required social rehab facilities again costs money. Again though, this was the type of simplistic argument I was criticised for earlier. Why - because it might actually mean admitting that people who live in one-off settlements partly subsidize the treatment of such problems in our cities. That doesn't fit well with the argument against those damn one-off parasites.


Then why does Roscommon have the only public representative in the Country elected on a 'Legalise Drugs' platform?
PVC King
 

Re: Eoghan Harris on one-off housing

Postby PDLL » Mon Jan 23, 2006 2:26 pm

Thomond Park wrote:Then why does Roscommon have the only public representative in the Country elected on a 'Legalise Drugs' platform?


Just because it may have a public representative elected on a 'Legalise Drugs' platform does not mean that it has a greater problem with illegal drugs than Dublin has. This type of progression from one point to another without any logical relationship between the two points whatsoever suggests that your arguments may suffer from logical deficiencies. Again, this does not build confidence in terms of the arguments you proposed against one-off houses.

What you said above has about as much logicality to it as saying that just because the present pope comes from Germany means that Germany must be the most Catholic country in the world! Scary stuff indeed.
PDLL
Member
 
Posts: 337
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:18 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Ireland