lol this was a great piece of Irish farce. Whereas on Grand Designs in Britain, there'd be uproar over a major breach of planning (not that it would even happen in the first place), in this loony bin of a country the presenter goes out of his way to hit the planners over the head for what was an unauthorised demolition of a perfectly habitable 19th century structure which contributed to the character of an area, and which was already given permission for integration into a vastly increased scale of house.
Eschewing all concepts of sustainability, conservation and indeed architectural dynamism, Miley astoundingly claimed that as the cottage was not a Protected Structure, was not in an Architectural Conservation Area, and something else which I cannot remember, the architect was effectively in his rights to demolish the house. Also, he was entirely disingenuous in suggesting that a meagre 'wall' was demolished and would be rebuilt, as effectively this constituted the removal of all that remained of the original cottage, given the rest was going to be demolished as part of the permission. The integrity of the new development was thus compromised, and the finished appearance entirely unsatisfactory.
One couldn't agree more about the planning system being a ridiculously inflexible beast, but to apportion little blame to anyone in particular other than the planning authority was grossly unfair. The architect and/or contractor effectively got off scot free. Quite extraordinary.
As for the final product, the staggering of the various boxy elements was somewhat ungainly, but on the whole quite successful. The front wall was particularly striking. Less so was the hideously scaled and ignorantly detailed front gate, which should not have been permitted on any level. What a cliched, two-fingered affront to the passer-by. The rebuilt cottage part was alas a complete sham, and typical of so many architects' complete ignorance of basic vernacular detailing. The windows were square and ugly in contrast to the classically-proportioned rectangles of most of the originals and those of the neighbouring house, while the pretty stucco hoods above the windows were not reinstated. Miley's observation that the clunky hardwood casements 'closely matched the originals' was similarly farcical, especially when half of the 'originals' were shoddy 1960s replacements in the first instance.
Anyway, it's easy to nitpick over elements. Leaving aside the obvious planning issues, I think the house was a decent attempt to densify an urban site in a sensitive manner, with some fine attributes including the sharp glazing and the cladding (though how the heck cedar of all materials is supposed to last in the Kenmare climate is beyond me). The finish was generally of a high standard also. The interior was remarkably dull.