Re: Re: New One-Off Housing website

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I don’t know if you noticed on one of the headlines on the main page to this site, but Jim Mansfield got refused at Naas again.
Yes, I know this was another one of these golf developments, but that’s isn’t the point – the point is that we have a treatment plant at Osberstown which is apparently running over capacity.
This is the capital town of a country in the Greater Dublin Area and the treatment plant isn’t working.

Sustainalbe development must also monitor where the money is actually going, and not rest on paper assurances that things are okay.
We need competent people on the ground ensuring things are okay, who are answerable to the taxpayer in terms of their job appointment.
Neither “jobs for life” county managers nor TDs who consistently get re-elected [no matter their previous transgressions] to further the ambitions of their back slapping electorate can fulfil this role on a national stage.

I think we need a radical re-think of how we govern ourselves and we can start by quartering the number of TDs and abolishing most of the Council seats.
We pay far too high a price for democracy as it is and with the eschequer running way beyond its means this has to stop NOW.

And there is absolutely no point seeking a radical change in development policy from central government.
They came up with the hubs and gateways concept in the face of economic accretion towards urban centres and the east coast.
Simply writing a plan without the backing of central or local government to promote de-centralisation is a nonsense, and they gave the lead.

If you think about it, everyone living together on the east coast makes a lot of sense in terms of reduced journey times and localisation of services.
I think that the current pursuit of centres of excellence in the health sector will be matched by the reduction in densities in towns without one close by.
Unless we re-invent our landscape and townscapes into a series of defined high density urban forms, that are economical to operate, we will fail economically.

Talking about an equal level of amenity in terms the design of our residential accommodation whil upping the density is a nonsense.
People will either live tight by you, over you, behind you or above you in a higher density situation.
You can prevent overlooking with good design, and limit noise spread using airtight houses.
But that’s about it – once the windows are open, they’re in your ear.

Instead we need to manage our expectation of amenity to reflect what sustainable development can produce.
We need to manage our own behaviour to respect the rights of others in dense urban environments.
When did you last see someone on a night out give a toss for what their neighbours thought?
Is the “Irish” emotional spectrum capable of living in high density with respect for others?

And how will we prevent people going to our urban centres on a night out anyway?
Humans congregate to find partners and testing conflicts and entertainment.

Without a working public transport infrastructure people will still want cars.
Without a local area of employment, people will still commute to work.
Without a job however, people are Donald Ducked whatever happens.

So let’s not focus exclusively on bad design and one off houses.
We need emplyment-generating ideas and a world economic revival.
All the rest of he aspirational stuff is empty rhetoric until we can pay our way.


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