One-off houses: Good or Bad? - Page 5 - boards.ie
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04-11-2009, 22:21   #61
westtip
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Originally Posted by serfboard View Post
I think what we should do is to keep voting Fianna Fail back in - we can rely on them to do what's best for the nation.

Insanity: Constantly repeating the same pattern and expecting a different result.
Serf FF FG I don't think it will make any difference to the average TD/councillor in the counties most affected; all the same gombeens. We need to separate our legislative assembly from local influences - so that our legislators do not answer to the parish pump, Da People may not like it - but do you know what sometimes local democracy just doesn't work.

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I'm at work posting this (yes i'm a part time farmer) via mobile and cant quote some of the posts.

I read all of the contributions and cant disagree with any of the points regarding bungalow blight. I still feel no shame for building my own house on my own land and would fight for the right of any one in my position to do the same. Offaly county council imposed conditions on my planning, had to build house in keeping with the style of the area, had to use natural slate, no dormer windows etc, had to maintain the natural road side boundry. I also had to install a treatment system for my house and it had to be located in a part of the site out of the view of the main road. Believe me if all the houses in my area had to go through that the area would have been much improved.

Though planning requirements and a local relationship and need should be enforced. A lot of the sites sold in the locality in the last 5 years went to outsiders but this is now not happening as the council enforce the local need rule.
If what you say about Offaly is true then why can't we have some level of consistency across the country, Sligo is full of pop up mansions/barracks throughout the county that are so incongruous it is untrue, your post is a good one and very informative - but as I said above in a post a few posts back - we do now need to address the mess that has been created - what can we now do to make these one offs places fit to live in - and what restrictions can we place on future one offs? Solving the social problem that has been created needs to be addressed - and believe me this is every bit as much a social problem as well as an infrastrutural/environmental issue. There really is a need for direction from government on this matter - will we get it - I doubt it.

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05-11-2009, 15:28   #62
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We need to separate our legislative assembly from local influences - so that our legislators do not answer to the parish pump
Indeed. Introduce a list system like they have in other countries. However, this would require a referendum which will be proposed by nobody and opposed by everybody.
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29-12-2009, 21:56   #63
Mike 1972
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Indeed. Introduce a list system like they have in other countries.
If you really want to get rid of parish pump politics a list system on its own isint going to do it. Youd need to make the entire country into a single c.100 seat constituency. Admittidely there would be no independent TD's under such a system but whether this would actually be a bad thing is highly debatable.

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1) Saying it costs more to connect ESB in the rural areas is simply wrong - the ESB wires pass on every road in the countryside and has done for decades, and therefore passes each new house;
Do you have any idea how electricity distribution systems work ?

If hundreds of one off houses connect to a network originally designed to serve a handful of rural farmsteads then someone* either has to invest a tidy sum upgrading said network or your lights go dim when the neighbours put their kettle on.

* Ireland being Ireland "someone" = not the people actually responsible for the causing the problem !

Last edited by Mike 1972; 29-12-2009 at 22:02.
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17-01-2010, 02:02   #64
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I have absolutely nothing against rural housing or so-called “one off housing”, but I have to agree with some others on the rubbish quality of housing in rural Ireland in recent decades. But then again, as a townie, I don’t think it’s fair to pass judgement as most of the modern constructed environment in Irish towns and suburbs is nothing to write home about in terms of architecture, or homeliness. Housing in rural Ireland followed the same pattern as urban/ built-up Ireland during the post-60s era in that poor quality exteriors and paper thin interiors (walls in particular) replaced earlier building forms, which although built in a much poorer time and place were certainly of better form and character than modern homes.

However, it probably had as much to do with the loss of old craft skills (indoors and outdoors) and the over-commercialisation of building materials, along with the lack of a provided alternative manual for housing design- than with some malaise or destructiveness on behalf of people in rural Ireland. People wanted houses, so where were the alternatives regarding design and layout to be found? The critiques could at least look at it from that perspective, instead of berating bungalow bliss etc. And that’s not even going into the area of gardening, which between hedges, trees, shrubbery and flowers can make any property seem attractive or secluded. Plus it adds value to a property at the end of the day.

Most countries throughout history have had dispersed and nucleated settlements. Dispersed settlements dominated in most parts of the world, including Europe until the Industrial revolution centralised factories into the towns and cities during the 19th century. The same thing can be said of England- the first country to industrialise, which along with countries like America, Germany, France etc was as dispersed as modern Ireland. As for the idea of criticising factories in the countryside, how many of you are aware of the fact that the original mills and factories in England and America were in fact in rural areas! In fact when I go to England, I can see them dotted all over the rural north and midlands.

Then there’s the argument regarding nature. If anything most gardens- providing the residents maintain the garden with plants and greenery- contains more bio-diversity than the large, barren and chemical-sprayed fields of most modern agricultural landscapes. Houses, providing the gardens are well-planted can in fact be indicators of attracting insects, birds etc.

There is much arrogance (and once again I say it as a townie) that a country “must” urbanise, as that is what apparently most modern western nations, and increasingly most emerging third world nations have done. But even now, the global urban/ rural ratio is only tipping 50-50%, and that’s in a world of 6.7 billion. Most of the great cities we all love like New York, London, Paris, Chicago, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona etc hadn’t even a population of 1 million in 1800. It was only in the 1820’s that London surpassed the 1 million mark. Most cities and towns in England, Europe and America at this time would barely pass the mark today as most of them only had about 10-50,000 people (e.g. Philadelphia the biggest city in 18th century America only had a population of 20,000). And yet even though the urban/rural ratio was about 20-80% in 1900, and even further down at 10-90% in 1800- this had done no damage to, nor did it curtail the development of the great cities of Europe and America.

So this idea that we “must” urbanise to achieve a better spatial and economic arrangement is a fallacy, because throughout most of human history, people have lived far apart and removed (aka dispersed settlements) whether in hunting packs or in farming communities- with a few towns and cities providing services and manufacturing. In fact that is about the only reason they developed, organically- so that they could develop goods and services to provide for the rest of the population. It worked back then, and even if the majority of western civilisation were to return to the countryside, it would not infer the collapse of society.

Also the advent of (i) solar power/ panels, (ii) rainwater harvesting systems (iii) more efficient septic tanks that pose little or no danger to aquifers (iv) mobile broadband, and most importantly (v) the potential to one day work from home for many people- have altogether meant that the system of the majority living in clustered settlements of towns and cities of thousands and millions, so as to be near work and services has come to an end. For the first time in generations, thanks to technology many people will now be able to return to the countryside. Then again even in 1900, most of the world including the industrialised nations of Europe and America were predominately rural, so it’s not as if it occurred immediately during the 19th century. If anything this pattern of movement continued up until the present day.

Also to say that our cities and towns will suffer as a result of rural development is in and of itself pure nonsense as the best cities and towns (also the most attractive ones) were built during eras of human history when society was predominately rural. Just as a city of a million (even two million) is nothing by modern global standards- neither is the concept of packing people into skyscraper apartments and block tower flats on brownfield sites, considered to be an anomaly when it most definitely is. The technology of the 19th century (aka factories, production lines etc) was the factor that demanded people move to the cities from the farms, towns and villages, whereas today the reverse is occurring- technology is providing the opportunity for people to return to live and work in rural areas. It also wouldn’t surprise me if in the years ahead we see a revival of small-scale artisan crafts, as a source of extra personal income that can then be traded over the internet.

It is perfectly possible for rural repopulation, and for prosperous and attractive cities to occur side-by-side. In fact the former complimented the latter throughout most of human history as there wasn’t the population pressure on urban areas to consider. Florence, the renaissance city par-excellence in the history books barely scratched 100,000 at its prime, and yet look at what a remarkable place it is. Now look at some of the cities with 2-5 million today, and they are far from utopian. They are over-grown and bursting at the seams. Humans were never intended to live in these settlements by a majority. Our cities and towns will always prosper regardless of what anybody says (once again, I’m a townie). The neglect of Irish towns probably has as much to do with high property prices over the last 20 years, than of been the result of houses been constructed in open countryside.

As for the English countryside, it has been forbidden for habitation since at least the Atlee years when the post war planning system came into effect. So it is not correct to point towards the English system, as it is artificially determining settlement patterns, and has been doing so since 1947. However, this has not stopped 80% of the English people, whose nation was the very first to industrialise- to wish to live, and work in the countryside (whether open countryside or rural village) by a majority of four fifths. There are also re-ruralisation movements and tendencies in large parts of Europe and North America also. And what is wrong with any of this? Yes out of a population of 50 million in a country only 50% bigger than Ireland, the idea of 40 million people wanting to live in a rural area may cause problems initially, but even these could be worked out, and settled over time considering the five points I made above regarding technological breakthroughs. So if most people in Ireland or England want to live in the countryside (and probably the majority of people in America and Europe) and wish to lead rural lifestyles, because technology will allow for this- why should they be denied this opportunity? Farming land is abundant, and food yields are growing with each passing year thanks to more efficient farming, so it is hardly a threat to the food supply.

The world, thanks to technology will probably rebalance the rural-urban ratio in the decades ahead, so there should be no rush in this country towards urbanisation- because the form of movement advocated by many proponents is out of date in the 21st century. The industrial revolution and its need for the centralisation of the majority population is gone out of the window of history, and is now an irrelevant concept when considering population settlement.

Here is the link, just to prove my point about English settlement preferences (not those of the RIA, CPRE etc), and to prove that there isn’t some unique “Bull McCabe” tendency in the Irish people to concrete over the countryside (ironic giving that only 4% of Ireland is built up- even including urban gardens and parks). Read the links below.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...untryside.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...ral-idyll.html
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18-01-2010, 13:49   #65
Amtmann
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So this idea that we “must” urbanise to achieve a better spatial and economic arrangement is a fallacy, because throughout most of human history, people have lived far apart and removed (aka dispersed settlements) whether in hunting packs or in farming communities- with a few towns and cities providing services and manufacturing.
Not true at all. People still lived relatively close to each other throughout history, along ancient roadways and close to rivers, often in valleys, and almost always - in the case of 15th-century Germany at any rate - within a few kilometres of one of the 4,000 towns existing at that time.

There was more space because there were far fewer people (12,000,000 in the Holy Roman Empire in 1500). This does NOT mean that people lived far apart from each other, however. Quite the contrary. The landscape was still so untamed that people and tribes always lived in predictable places that were favourable to settlement and exploitation. It is why, throughout history, tribes and nascent kingdoms and empires always came into conflict despite their tiny populations: they simply couldn't avoid each other!
In any case, your scenario seems to suggest a sort of 'back to nature' type philosophy.

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it would not infer the collapse of society


Since we all live within a technologized society that values services and the mass availability of all manner of commodities and resources, the question of how best to arrange our society - when these desires are fundamental - is addressed by a high degree of urbanisation. You move Europe's 500,000,000 citizens out of all urban spaces and into the countryside in a dispersed settlement pattern, then good luck to you. You will destroy everything - including society.

Last edited by Amtmann; 18-01-2010 at 13:52.
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26-01-2010, 10:44   #66
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The Frontline on RTE last night focused on the over-supply of houses in Ireland. The main focus was 'ghost' estates in towns and villages which were partly built, a few people bought houses in them but proper sewage facilities, streetlighting and other such things were never completed because the builders went bust.

A few different people brought up the issue of one-off housing in rural areas, saying it was unsustainable and was ruining the countryside. A couple of people even said some of the unoccupied one-off rural houses should be demolished and the land returned to agricultural use.
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26-01-2010, 11:05   #67
hipster2009
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One-off housing is fine so long as the full economic cost is paid.

first example: You can get broadband in any urban location because those residents sacrificed their right to one-off housing and lived close together. The full cost of extending broadband to rural one-off housing should be charged to those who want that way of life.

second example: meals on wheels and care in the community work for those eldery living in close-knit communities. Those living in once-off housing should be charged for the service.

bottom line is that there is a charge to the state in providing servces to one-off housing (water, heating, electricity, telecommunications, social services etc.) No problem with anyone who wants the added benefits of one-off housing and rural amenities but they should also pay the additional costs.


I have broadband in a country area. We have our own well so its not costing "extra" for water its actually zero so by your logic we should be compensated because of this.We can now install a wind turbine for electricity. As regards sewerage etc ever hear of septic tanks etc.

When does the local authority pay for heating?

Life in the country is so much better and as somebody who grew up in a country area I can never live in an estate.
Nobody should be able to force me to live in a town or tell me what I cant build a house on my own land.

Meals on wheels! townies should do as in the country and look after their own elderly folks. Which is a lot easier to do when you are allowed to build a house beside your parents.

PS we do pay extra for connection to electricty, water etc.
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26-01-2010, 11:20   #68
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[QUOTE=Mike 1972;63700331]If you really want to get rid of parish pump politics a list system on its own isint going to do it. Youd need to make the entire country into a single c.100 seat constituency. Admittidely there would be no independent TD's under such a system but whether this would actually be a bad thing is highly debatable.

Do you have any idea how electricity distribution systems work ?

If hundreds of one off houses connect to a network originally designed to serve a handful of rural farmsteads then someone* either has to invest a tidy sum upgrading said network or your lights go dim when the neighbours put their kettle on.End Quote]


"Do you have any idea how electricity distribution systems work? "
As technology moves on all networks have to be upgraded to keep up. nothing to do with one off houses!

PS find a map from 50 years ago and you will see that there were much more houses in rural areas then there are now. I can count the ruins of 20 old houses within three farms in my area which now have 8 houses in total at present!
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26-01-2010, 12:29   #69
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We have our own well
You do, but does every one-off house? I would think that a lot don't.

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Life in the country is so much better.
In your opinion.

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Nobody should be able to force me to live in a town or tell me what I cant build a house on my own land.
So people should have the freedom to build whatever they want, wherever they want just because they own the land?

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townies should do as in the country and look after their own elderly folks.
We do! Why is it always people from rural areas on the likes of the Frontline and Prime Time complaining that the elderly in rural areas are extremely isolated, have nobody calling, can't get out of their house when there's a bit of bad weather, can't go to the pub to socialise because the drink drive limit is so strict. You don't often hear similar complaints from people living in urban areas.
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26-01-2010, 13:15   #70
Amtmann
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PS find a map from 50 years ago and you will see that there were much more houses in rural areas then there are now. I can count the ruins of 20 old houses within three farms in my area which now have 8 houses in total at present!
Well duh. All those people living in those shacks worked where they lived, or very close by. They didn't all have two or three cars per house tearing up the fabric of the L roads, either; and electricity and phone usage were WAY below modern usage rates, if they existed at all. The point is that in today's society, one off houses drain resources disproportionately and aren't sustainable.

Last edited by Amtmann; 26-01-2010 at 14:15.
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26-01-2010, 15:03   #71
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Well duh. All those people living in those shacks worked where they lived, or very close by. They didn't all have two or three cars per house tearing up the fabric of the L roads, either; and electricity and phone usage were WAY below modern usage rates, if they existed at all. The point is that in today's society, one off houses drain resources disproportionately and aren't sustainable.
There's a simple solution to this. Charge people in rural one-off housing the full economic cost of their electricity, water etc. - no cross-subsidies from urban areas.

Once people start getting €15k per year ESB bills, they'll soon cop on to just how expensive it is for urban dwellers to subsidise their lifestyle.
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26-01-2010, 15:14   #72
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There's a simple solution to this. Charge people in rural one-off housing the full economic cost of their electricity, water etc. - no cross-subsidies from urban areas.

Once people start getting €15k per year ESB bills, they'll soon cop on to just how expensive it is for urban dwellers to subsidise their lifestyle.
Must remember this post the next time we hear about cost of upgrading an underground cable/pipe in the city!
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26-01-2010, 15:19   #73
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The problem is that most politicians simply don't think about what one-off housing really means for the overall functioning of the state. They don't see it as a problem; instead, they take it as a given and see it as being as normal a thing as the Irish pub. At the risk of sounding elitist, many of our politicians aren't educated in the most desirable fields - philosophy, sociology, history, criminology, geography, planning, administration, etc.
I wonder what Mattie McGrath would say about your proposal, Marmurr. He wouldn't see the problem. His concern is about finding ways to make the unsustainable sustainable without even knowing that it's unsustainable in the first place!
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26-01-2010, 22:50   #74
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You do, but does every one-off house? I would think that a lot don't.


In your opinion.


So people should have the freedom to build whatever they want, wherever they want just because they own the land?


We do! Why is it always people from rural areas on the likes of the Frontline and Prime Time complaining that the elderly in rural areas are extremely isolated, have nobody calling, can't get out of their house when there's a bit of bad weather, can't go to the pub to socialise because the drink drive limit is so strict. You don't often hear similar complaints from people living in urban areas.
Nobody mentioned build whatever they want wherever they want. just should have the right to build a home on their own land.

You should have looked at the news more carefully during the snow and seen the interview with the old woman in Tullow town saying how isolated she now feels towards when she lived in the country!

And it was more of people in urban areas who were complaining about not being able to get around in the bad weather.
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26-01-2010, 23:31   #75
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Well duh. All those people living in those shacks worked where they lived, or very close by. They didn't all have two or three cars per house tearing up the fabric of the L roads, either; and electricity and phone usage were WAY below modern usage rates, if they existed at all. The point is that in today's society, one off houses drain resources disproportionately and aren't sustainable.
You should go to one of these great urban areas you think are so great first thing in the morning and watch all of the two car families leave to tear up the "fabric of the roads" all the way to dublin.

So you agree with people who work on their farms being allowed to live on and build houses on the farms. And what shacks these were all stone houses.

and electricity and phone usage were WAY below modern usage rates, if they existed at all. The point is that in today's society, one off houses drain resources disproportionately and aren't sustainable.[/QUOTE]

What a bunch of crap. "way below modern usage rates" the single most stupid arguement ever.
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