RKQ wrote:It can be argued that this is a "return" to pre industrial revolution housing patterns.
It is the reverse of the slums caused in cities & towns in 19th & 20th Century as the migration of masses from the countryside, entered the poorly planned cities & towns.
Sometimes a semi- isn't big enough. Some prefer life on a half acre, maybe "grow their own" veg, raise chickens or pigs and supply their own meat. Become as self sufficient as possible. Install wind turbines & solar panels etc. The Good Life.
This would greatly off-set any carbon generated by car useage.
Of course there have been many planning mistakes over the years, caused by a number of factors.
Lack of infastructure is a major problem. Housing developments in small towns and villages were refused due to inadequate sewerage, forcing people to build in the countryside.
I think you are missing the point here. Pre-industrial rural districts did not require tarmac roads, electricity, postal services etc, none of the aforementioned services existed at this stage.
And your second point about self-sufficiency ties in pretty much with the argument about pre-industrial living arrangements in a way. What you are talking about here is subsistence agriculture; this was a meagre existence back then, just as it would be today. Farms of 50 acres and under are going out of business, so I don't really see the prospects of sustaining a living off of half an acre. Even if it was part time, it wouldn't be worth the time and effort as the returns and labour involved are burdensome and unnecessary giving that there is cheap and available food available in the supermarkets and shops.
As for your take on the slums in the (quote) badly planned towns and cities, and of the movement of labour from farming into industry- well that was a result of the then temporary market and jobs situation. Towns develop, and have always developed to attract surplus labour or niche markets and as a means towards creating a wealthier society. Mechanised agriculture and the larger farms which will ensue after CAP is finished in 2013 will further diminish the importance of agriculture as part of our economy in terms of percentages, and this is all the more reason to develop prosperous and self-sufficient towns. It is towns that are self-sufficient as they are centres for markets, products, innovation, produce, goods, jobs, infrastructure etc, as well as buying in the food that the farms produce. Industries, both native and FDI sourced are also attracted to towns and cities as opposed to isolated areas. Isolated housing in its modern context is complete and utter dependence on outside assistance without contributing to the prosperity of the local areas.
Ironically, and as hard as it is to put the point across it will probably be one off housing which will damage, if not decimate parts of rural Ireland in the years ahead. By focusing in towns, as is the norm in just about every other part of the world, and in pre-famine Ireland (clachans), we can sustain the population. Otherwise, no luck. This is the real world, a place needs to make its way and do something, much of rural Ireland is not doing so right now.
Could you also keep in mind that the councils are now in charge of the maintenance of roads along with all of the asphalt and tarmac, which now have to be cared for and maintained by the meagre local taxes which underpopulated and faltering rural towns can provide.
Agriculture btw is growing more efficient with each passing year, there is no need to downsize to smaller farms as they no longer serve the economical purpose they once did- let alone encourage subsistence agriculture as an excuse to build a house a few miles out of town on a small farm road.