Explain to me, in your own view exactly what is wrong with "one-off" housing in the country? excuse my ignorance.Is it that you want everyone to live in towns/villages? or just you think they are ugly? I haven't formed an opinion yet.
Hmmm Welcome to the Lions Den!
First off, I dont think either of the polarised ends of this debate are particularly helpful. However, basically it is preferable if those working in an urban area live in an urban area. If someone is working in the countryside, then its another thing. However the worst scenario is when somebody builds their own "dream home"/ AKA Mc Mansion, and then drives to work in the city, while the dummy-mummy wife drives the kids to school in a jeep. Result: an inexcusable blot on the landscape, displaced community, state services such as health, schooling, and public services strecthed to being unworkable. Ireland now the 5th most oil-depedent sate in the world, per head, while many town centres are in decline.
However if you are planning to work in the countryside, and will look into building sustainably (ie no leaking septic tanks to begin with
) and are looking into incorporating the abode into the topography etc, thats a different story. It might be worth looking at using materials other than concrete for construction, wood, wattle, or straw - a lot less environmental impact, and much better thermal values. Also have a look at geo-thermal heating units etc.
A tip of genuine advice, if you are pursuing this route, have a look at the Green Building Handbook.