So it’s turned into another of ‘those’ threads...
First and foremost PDLL I would appreciate if you would stop that nasty oh so pure anti-bourgeois theme underlying much of you responses, subtly implying the character of other posters. There is no need to get confrontational, something I’d suggest you have a habit of doing.
Secondly, the progression of this debate is getting bogged down in nitty-gritty details and over-analysis of points being raised – it gets it nowhere.
PDLL, when I said that the scale and pattern of current one-off development is not rooted in historical precedent, I meant just that – the scale and pattern
. Similarly it was also intended to be considered in a reasonable vein – i.e. within recent historical times – mid-1600s plus. Digging up Olaf and friends is nothing but patent obfuscation.
I agree with much you say – there is without doubt an element of hypocrisy in ‘treasuring’ 19th century cottages and deriding contemporary one-off housing, both the fruits of their respective times and cultures. Yes there is a certain element of Dublin dictating to the masses, though very small I think. Yes a vibrant rural element to Irish life ought to be actively promoted and sustained, even if this means the skewing of servicing resources to certain
degree – it is the nature of the difference between urban and rural living.
However in nearly all of this thread it has simply been accepted that one can only either live in Dublin or in a one-off house. The term village has yet to be even mentioned. Small town has yet to be mentioned. The extension of either has yet to be mentioned, let alone the notion of creating new ones. I do not believe that every person who builds an isolated one-off house does so because they do not want to live in a town or city – but rather many do it because they’re not given the option of living in the countryside in a more sustainable, social way; that is to say in a small town or village. In Ireland you’re either told to live in a hideous ‘unit’ in a developer estate tacked onto the side of a small town or the outskirts of a village, or to Connaght with you, i.e. go feck off and build your own somewhere else then.
I cannot see that if people were given the option of living in relatively tightly-knit small rural communities in well-designed, individualised homes, that they would still plump for a mock-Palladian pile in a field, detached from society, services and sanity.
When you refer to people’s freedom of choice and democratic rights PDLL, I think you’re confusing it with individualism, mé féinism, feck everyone elseism. As concrete economic facts have yet to be provided, indeed seem difficult to provide, it stems to logical reason, however naïve, that one-off housing by its very nature is a more expensive way of living than even reasonably low density settlement patterns – not those of of Dublin, but of any
urban conurbation whether it be of 20 homes or 20,000 homes.
Personally I do see a genuine ‘role’ if it can be described as such, for one-off housing, if a number of issues could be resolved. But as things stand I simply cannot accept the concept on anything remotely like the scale that is currently happening. These ‘changes’ are:
Design, design, design. Whilst I appreciate it’s very much a fickle issue, it’s broadly accepted that what we’re currently experiencing is simply unacceptable – sure even PDLL said so *gasps all round*
It’s difficult to see how this can be resolved as there is only so much local authorities can do, and their input is often primarily directed towards siting and landscaping rather than the building itself. As long as people desire the neo-traditional styles that are going up, and that refers to the basic bungalow rather than so-called McMansions, then it’s difficult to see how things can change. Were a better standard of design in use, a large chunk of the one-off issue would dissipate overnight – even if the broader problem of having structures in areas of natural beauty would still prevail.
Environmental issues. In this day and age it is simply unacceptable for any septic tank to leak or to be used improperly. There seem to be myriad forms of sewage treatment about nowadays, suffice to say developed in other European countries. It is inexcusable for bog-standard septic tank technology in use probably since the 1930s to be still in use today. If it works, fine, if it doesn’t ditch it. If the soil isn’t suitable ditch it. If the soil isn’t suitable for any sewage treatment, ditch the house. There are so many superior methods out there now, that regardless of cost, should now be in use. Similarly with the large sites that these houses inevitably occupy, geo-thermal heating systems ought to be actively promoted; a great advantage rural homes could have over urban-based.
Cars. A related environmental concern. Personally I don’t buy ‘the oil’s running out so stop building one-offs’ argument, nor issues relating to carbon emissions. Either way it’s all going to be consumed, whether by cars in Ballydahob or mega-industries in Beijing. And either way it’ll still be gone in 30-40 years, or simply too expensive to use. Bio-fuels and other renewable energy sources are the future, with minimal to zero carbon emissions. However the costs of maintaining the road systems servicing one-offs, if
unreasonable (as it hasn’t really been proven either way here yet) most certainly is a matter of concern and should be bourn by one-offers. Similarly the extra cost of electricity provision, again if
unreasonable ought to bourn by one-offers. I simply reject the argument that a citizen’s ‘personal freedom’ in choosing to build a one-off house ought to be paid for by the tax-payer or semi-state companies. That is taking advantage of a centralised taxation system. I don’t hold that view as an ‘urban dweller’ (not that I live in a densely populated area anyway) but simply from the perspective that if I decided to build a one-off house I would [b[expect[/b] to pay extra for the services being provided to me. Not to satisfy the tongue waggers ‘up in Dublin’, but out of fairness to anybody and everybody who lives in a reasonably sustainable fashion anywhere else in the country, urban or rural. It is only fair.
As for the Grecian temple, I just knew that would be pointed out – talk about putting something on display to be mauled
Though how a small, weathered, natural stone structure in a densely grown environment equates to the impact of a day-glo bungalow is anyone’s guess.