Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Aidan » Fri Mar 24, 2006 7:35 pm

The rate at which one offs are being constructed varies across the country also, so some areas (like Clare and South Kerry) are much worse affected.

Quick point, landscapes change, even rural ones, and I don't think anyone is arguing that we need to purposively slow the development of rural areas so they can be used solely as recreational facilities for urban dwellers. The idea that planners generally want to hold rural areas in suspended animation is not true (although some individuals may). Rather, the debate is calling for a balanced perspective on rural development and national policy imperatives. At the moment, the gloves are off and, in some counties, people are apparently allowed build what they want, where they want. In the long term, that is unsustainable, for a variety of obvious reasons.

Personally, I would have no problem with a limited amount of 'one off's being constructed, so long as very strict design criteria are met, and the numbers are kept to a minimum (the idea of a formal 'link with the land' and a ban on resale or letting of the property for say 5-10 years is a good one). The real focus of rural development should be on the creation of vibrant villages and towns however, with appropriate levels of services. Cork country council have done some very good work in this regard (even if some of the one off housing decisions are puzzling), with the tax incentive schemes for 'ring towns' in the harbour area. As a policy, it works, and delivers significant benefits. Other local authorities have a lot to answer for in this regard.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby murphaph » Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:35 am

PDLL wrote:And do they genuinely destroy the scene? Are they truly that offensive that you would stop your car on a country road and go - damn, look at those white specks on the horizon

They're only specks because they are far away in that picture :rolleyes:
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby PVC King » Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:42 pm

I agree with Aidan on this the resources should be concentrated on supporting existing villages and providing sufficient support to develop them into vibrant magnets for those already in the hinterlands. Cork Co Co have done some very good work in recent years and it is one County where there appears to be relative order in terms of defining what is and isn't acceptable.

Ultimately I am against a total ban but the current free for all if sustained will leave Ireland with an infrastructural deficet that will take centuries to solve. When even a Healey Rae is compalining about 'blow ins' buying sites the writing is on the wall.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby GrahamH » Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:12 am

There was an hilarious report on Nationwide during the week about a tradesman father building a house for his son - I dearly hope most people here weren't watching for fear of a wave of heart failure rippling across the country. What exactly the point of the report was I haven't quite figured out as yet, but it was so funny as to almost come across as a send-up of the one-off phenomenon. The subjects were the most perfect caricatures.

The house they were building was sited half way up a lightly sloping field, utterly devoid of so much as a twig of foliage, two storeys in height and 'traditional' in character, replete with PVC windows featuring plastic arches as a 'decorative motif', and a plastic conservatory. Everything that wasn't plastic was concrete - there was barely a splinter of timber in the edifice outside of the roof trusses. The walls were concrete, the foundations were concrete, the floors and ceilings were concrete - even the staircase was cast concrete.

They then give a tour of the soon-to-be 'luxury' interior, with "the underfloor heating" and "the walk-in wardrobe" and "the kitchen yonits along here".
And cringe-inducingly rounded off with the (apparent farmer) father-in-law who donated the 'site' saying "we hope the rest of the family will need sites; we can give them the sites. I have the land to provide them with sites and I think it's a good thing they stay around, besides paying the money of €60-€100,000 for a site and then build on it - costly job building a house, to have to buy the site like".

Indeed.

Here it is below. Viewers should note this report contains distressing images from the very start:

http://dynamic.rte.ie/av/228-2126025.smil
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:25 am

Graham Hickey wrote:Viewers should note this report contains distressing images from the very start

:D Best laugh I've had all weekend. Thanks G.

Yup- I saw the item. I can just see the report in the papers: 'A mystery illness hit built environment professonals and interested laypeople at 7.20 on Wednesday last. Doctors reported a surge of heart murmurs, palpitations and blood pressure complaints in surgeries and hospitals all over the country. When asked what the cause was, patients were unable to speak, their faces frozen with shock.'

I think the report was about father-son bonding. I was watching it with my father and we bonded with laughter.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Devin » Mon Mar 27, 2006 6:55 am

Bah! I want to see that now, but I don't seem to have the right software (what do you open it in?).


A bit of visual fill-in for the thread:
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Aidan » Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:36 pm

They look very familiar Devin - no idea where they are, but I can show you hundred of 'developments' very like that one ...

Question.

Is there a correlation between the size and population on the catchment area of local authorities and their ability to plan properly, or is it just plain politics?

Given that Cork CoCo is one of the larger in the state, and that it works very well with the City Council in terms of planning, is it really surprising that, given the total population is around 490,000, they are a relatively strong body? Is there an instituitional critical mass that smaller local authorities cannot muster? If so, is there an argument for reform of local government along super authority line, amalgamating smaller CoCos into joint bodies with single planning areas?

Even in the case of Dublin, is there an argument for having a single planning body covering the entire GDA, out to Greystones, Dundalk, Naas and Maynooth?
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:57 pm

Devin wrote:Bah! I want to see that now, but I don't seem to have the right software (what do you open it in?).

When I click the link it opens automatically in Real Player.

Are those houses in Waterford- the coast road heading west out of Tramore? They look quite familiar to me. Though as Aidan says, they could be anywhere.

Except Northern Ireland, obviously.:)

Aidan-
There are Regional Authorities, but they have no legislative backing. Each authority has Regional Planning Guidelines, but they tend to be cited only where it suits developers in their applications, and because they aren't legally binding it's difficult for the local authority to use them to refuse an application. One change I'd like to see is these Regional Planning Guidelines becoming binding and the Authorities becoming proper authorities with full planning powers.

My own feelings are that it's a mix of size and politics- the smaller the area the more likely it is that the decision maker will be known to the applicant. One of the reasons larger authorities are perceived to be better is that they have both the necessary distance from their clients and the back up of a balanced and reasonably well staffed department.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Aidan » Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:32 pm

There are Regional Authorities


As far as I can tell, the only thing these 'Authorities' are actually used for is as additional subheads in statisical publications.

My take is that it is the both the institutional strength of the planning body (both in terms of the number and quality of planning staff, and the abilities of management) and the relative strength of officials vis politicians operating at a local and national level.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Devin » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:31 am

Aidan wrote:They look very familiar Devin - no idea where they are, but I can show you hundred of 'developments' very like that one ...

Aidan wrote:Are those houses in Waterford- the coast road heading west out of Tramore? They look quite familiar to me. Though as Aidan says, they could be anywhere.
Well that’s just it, isn’t it? It’s the same scene everywhere! As it happens they’re from a trip I took the summer before last, starting at Portlaoise, through Laois, Kildare and ending up in west Wicklow. It was a gorgeous late-summer day, the countryside was ravishing, but it was just non-stop bungalows … stark ones plonked everywhere … new ones being built … it just became funny after a while, thinking: How could we screw up a land so comprehensively and in so short a time?

… And you have the guy on the Irish Times letters page yesterday attacking the new rule for NI as being against ‘the tradition in the 32 counties…to live in the open countryside’.
I just don’t know …… it's a weird time to be around.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby KerryBog2 » Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:58 pm

PDLL wrote:In short, there should be regulations stating that a single person should only have a 1.1 3 door car, a family should be allowed a 1.5 5 door car and so on..


In the days when the only Tiger economy was the Asian one, Singapore was said to have a 1,2,3,4,5, economy.
One wife,
two kids,
three bed house,
four good wheels and a high
five figure salary to pay for it all
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby PVC King » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:38 pm

With one of the highest densities in the World and the strictist regulation of the private motor car;

they also introduced the Worlds largest automated underground railway in 2004; it seems the good times are still rolling for them as a result of their disciplined planning regime.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Devin » Tue Dec 11, 2007 1:22 am

From the Irish Times on Friday. Haven't been in the direction of Leitrim / Cavan in a few years. Is it really this bad? I suppose it's totally unsurprising:



THE ARTS: WITNESS TO ATROCITY

Alfredo Jaar's artistic interventions have taken him from his native Chile to Bosnia, Rwanda and Sweden - but his concern now is with what's happening to the Leitrim landscape, he tells Belinda McKeon


Friday, December 7, 2007

…… A PLACE'S ESSENCE, he argues, is not just physical, not just about measurements and logistics and planning regulations. "Any place is a political place, it's a cultural space, it's a landscape," he says. "It is many, many things. So the architect analyses that, and proposes something that fits so well to that place, that is unique to that place, that responds to the history of that place, to the landscape, to the beauty of the place. And then, when you discover that essence, you can make a proposal."

He pauses, looks almost pained. "And that's what shocked me in Leitrim."

Leitrim? Yes, Leitrim. Tijuana, Catia, Fukuroi, Mälmo, Kwangju, and now Leitrim. Leitrim and Roscommon, to be more precise; for these are the two places which have been on Jaar's mind over the past year, as he has led a residency with five artists from the area.

…... All five artists will focus on the badly planned and barely designed property development which has run riot over the Leitrim/Roscommon countryside in the last five years.

"The new constructions you see in Leitrim are just appalling," says Jaar. "They do not correspond to that extraordinary landscape."

They fail abysmally to connect with the essence of the place, he says, "yet people still buy these places. Because they are looking at them only as an investment. It's as if architecture and development has become like money."

Jaar's tone is genuinely baffled at this point. What has happened, so quickly, in Ireland, is "unbelievable", he says. He has seen it elsewhere, but it is vastly more "visible" in "such a beautiful country, so small".

As an architect, how might he characterise the kinds of developments that are springing up like ragwort in villages across these counties?

"Ooh la la," he says, wincing. "What ugly but diplomatic word can I use?" He sighs. "Let's say it in another way. The developers are not enlightened. They think that the only way to make money is by building the cheapest and quickest and . . . I just think these developers are making a huge mistake. I think that good architecture is also valuable, and also pays. And it lasts."

ON THE QUALITY of new Irish housing developments, Jaar uses other words, not especially harsh words, but words he asks me not to quote all the same. In the speech he'll deliver at Trade, he warns about the dangers of landscape "deteriorating into parody" - strong words. He's excited about the "aesthetic intelligence" of the five local artists who are making work around the subject of property development, but he seems wary of saying too much on the subject himself, wary of overstepping some mark of propriety.

Jaar has also been asked by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority to make a temporary intervention next summer, but he feels "the same kind of disgust" at the rapid and underplanned development in that area, so he is still deciding "whether an intervention in that context is worth it". He likes his interventions to have some chance of making a difference, he says.

Dictatorship, genocide, famine, xenophobia, injustice - Jaar's work has squared up to it all. But he'd never seen an Irish property development before. It obviously takes some beating.

The Trade seminar takes place at King House, Boyle, Co Roscommon, today and tomorrow. Further details: http://www.roscommonarts.com

© 2007 The Irish Times
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Blisterman » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:26 pm

I think the ban is ridiculous, and bad news for architects.
Most of the best examples of rural architecture throughout history, have been one off houses.

A better plan would be to designate specific areas of outstanding natural beauty, for preservation, rather than telling people what they can and can't do on their own property.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Seanselon » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:14 am

So, what then if your property is designated as an area of outstanding beauty?
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby Blisterman » Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:10 am

Well, that's unlucky for you.
But seriously. It's not like the whole Irish countryside is non stop beautiful scenery. A lot of it is just fields.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby noel o'gara » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:25 am

Blisterman wrote:Well, that's unlucky for you.
But seriously. It's not like the whole Irish countryside is non stop beautiful scenery. A lot of it is just fields.


Blisterman seems to be the only person in this news group with an open mind. The rest of you are all control freaks, I mean controlling other people's ideas and lands.
If you are lucky enough to own a beautiful site why should you not be able to build your home on it?
Surely the beautiful lands and sites of our country should not be reserved only for the birds.
Are architects and planners the owners of the land of Ireland or the land owners?

The wisdom of these fellows seems to be build in an obscure place so that the views are preserved for their benefit when they wish to drive around the countryside on a weekend break.
Sorry lads its the owner who should decide what and where he builds with his own money, not a dreamer or landless expert who knows better.

Ireland was once a republic of free land owners but you guys have turned it into a bureaucracy for your own ends.
Traditionally the countryside was dotted with houses and in the most beautiful sites available to the farmer although many built right on the road or close to it without thought for the sunrise or sunset.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby henno » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:39 pm

Every field in Ireland is not suitable to have a house on it.

You will find there are rules and regulations regarding the suitability of land for housing, from health and safety regs, water safety, traffic safety, areas of conservation or archaeological significance etc....

generally planners are sympathetic if a sufficient need is shown for housing, but generally will not compromise the above regulations, for the 'greater good'....

To think that anyone can build anything anywhere is ridiculous..... every democracy must survive on social bureaucratic regulations, for the good of the state and not the self...
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby alonso » Tue Jan 01, 2008 5:16 pm

henno, you do realise you;re talking to a fantasist wingnut?
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby noel o'gara » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:16 pm

alonso wrote:henno, you do realise you;re talking to a fantasist wingnut?


when you have lost the argument alonzo you turn to the name calling.
You tried that and now you have turned to the mental factor.
Look in the mirror alonso and see if you have sobered up.
These readers dont need you to advise them.:D

I'm glad I dont live beside someone like you.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby alonso » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:40 pm

Again, it's Alonso.

I hadn't realised I was in an argument Noel, such is the lunacy of your rants. I'm well aware that the readers of this site can make up their own minds, which they have done - and they're rowing in right behind you aren't they. As for name calling, c'mon now Noel, you threw truckloads of mud at my profession. Consider the name calling responding in kind.

And don't be glad you don't live near me, be extremely grateful! If you had a few planners around you. you'd really know about it given your antics over the past year or so.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby noel o'gara » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:52 am

alonso wrote:Again, it's Alonso.

I hadn't realised I was in an argument Noel, such is the lunacy of your rants. I'm well aware that the readers of this site can make up their own minds, which they have done - and they're rowing in right behind you aren't they. As for name calling, c'mon now Noel, you threw truckloads of mud at my profession. Consider the name calling responding in kind.

And don't be glad you don't live near me, be extremely grateful! If you had a few planners around you. you'd really know about it given your antics over the past year or so.


An owner of a house or a shop who wants to change the business use of it for whatever reason that is his business alone.
If I had a shoe shop and business was rotten and I was losing money or just keeping my head above the water and decided to turn it into a chipper because there is none near me why should you stop me?
Planners like you have screwed up this republic.
You own nothing yourself but you want to control all developments.
Why dont you just mind your own business and get a real life rather than being a pain in the ass for your neighbours who want to develop their business plans.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby alonso » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:07 am

Ah yes that;s it. To be a good planner, you must first be a landowner. Not all of us can climb the filthy greasy pole that you occupy Noel. Some of us are interested in the common good. I know the word "common" is anathema to people like you, as are concepts such as "neigbourhood", "community", and "society". It's all about giving benevolent charitable landed types like you free reign is it? Fuck the poor, screw the unfortunate, bollox those without access to the surplus wealth to support an election campaign or 4. Noel you're a twisted old crank who is really bringing this site into disrepute.

I would go on, but when one side of an argument is so obviously self defeating, there;s no point. Anyway I've real planning to do. Happy New Year
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby massamann » Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:40 am

Whatever decision is reached on one-off housing in rural areas, I think it's wrong to claim that we should be allowed to build houses today simply because that is what was done in the past, or because it is an "Irish tradition".

One hundred years ago if you lived in the countryside, your commute to work lasted the thirty seconds it took you to walk out your front door into your field. Living in a house on a farm was practical and sustainable because by and large everybody worked from home. Nowadays, for the vast majority of people, living in the countryside means leaving your house and getting into your car to drive the thirty-mile roundtrip to work in the local town. It's not the same thing.

I'm not entirely happy with banning one-off housing, but it may well be the lesser of two evils. And what I am convinced about is that if we are having this debate, then we should at least be honest as to the reality of what living in the countryside really is.
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Re: Blanket ban on one-off housing in Northern Ireland announced

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:47 pm

1)
noel o'gara wrote:Blisterman seems to be the only person in this news group with an open mind. The rest of you are all control freaks, I mean controlling other people's ideas and lands.

If we were controlling your ideas, would we really be putting such nonsensical dross into your gob?

Word of advice: don't mistake lack of control over your own ideas as proof that others have taken charge of them.

2)
alonso wrote:Ah yes that;s it. To be a good planner, you must first be a landowner.

That was my first thought. But thankfully Noel has spoken out of both sides of his mouth (not for the first time- see point 3 [below]), giving us this dilly of a pickle to resolve. Ooh, I do love puzzles!!! And what did he say to contradict himself?

noel o'gara wrote:Are architects and planners the owners of the land of Ireland or the land owners?

Sorry lads its the owner who should decide what and where he builds with his own money, not a dreamer or landless expert who knows better. [my emphasis]


3)
Anyway, Noel, I have a question for you. It's one question, and I shall put it very simply, so please do your best to answer it in as straightforward a manner as possible:
Anyone else see a certain level of hypocrisy in embracing the concept of ground rent and rejecting planning legislation? I wonder what Michael Davitt - Mr O'Gara's apparent spiritual advisor in matters of the land - would make of it?


I asked it before during a discussion on your patriotic interventions in the matter of Dartmouth Square, but you hadn't yet graced us with your presence. Now, however, you don't have the convenience of that excuse at your disposal. So- your thoughts?
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