Re: Re: Government-by-numbers

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Provision for emigrants in new housing rules

13 April 2005 10:38
Finalised planning guidelines on one-off housing published by the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, have expanded on draft proposals to ensure returning emigrants are facilitated by local authorities.

Mr Roche received 105 submissions on draft proposals that were published last year by the former minister, Martin Cullen.

He said that the overall thrust remains unchanged to ensure that what he termed reasonable proposals on suitable sites for people contributing to the rural community are accommodated.

Among the other changes is a new provision allowing people in exceptional health circumstances to build close to a particular environment or family support.

A ban on brick in all cases and a requirement that all roofs be of a particular colour slate have also been lifted.

It is also stated that all one-off housing developments will be allowed in Special Areas of Conservation or SACs as long as what the guidelines calls the integrity of the area is not adversely affected.

Detractors had viewed the draft proposals as a charter for bungalow blitz and said they went against EU and national policy.

The finalised guidelines can be expected to re-ignite the white-hot debate on planning in Ireland – something that in all likelihood will end up in the courts.

What a populist strategy with certain elements although experience would suggest that the numbers benefitting from this reprehensible measure do not have sufficient scale to tilt an election as evidenced by both Local Elections and both By-elections where Fianna Fail were comprehensively beaten.

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