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Street View rural Ireland vs. Street View rural Wales: the effects of one-off housing

  • 03-10-2010 8:51pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 583 MT


    Have Ireland’s rural landscapes been irredeemably disfigured by one-off housing?

    The launch of Google’s Street View in the Republic has provided a great opportunity to flit through large swathes of the Irish countryside and compare it with the rural Wales (‘also’ famed for its scenery), other parts of Britain, and indeed, Europe.

    All I can say is that in contrast to the beauty of the Welsh countryside, etc. whole stretches of rural Ireland are by now hideously puke inducing. I’ve looked up and down road after road – especially in the West – that have sort of taken on the appearance of ghastly, sprawling low-density suburbs. It’s nothing short of tragic when you see the stunning preservation in Wales and elsewhere.

    Development often seems unrelentless. Unlike the escape from concrete and bricks and motar that rural highways and byways present in Wales/Britain, housing follows you almost everywhere in Ireland. ‘Streetview’ is such an apt name; the one-off housing proponents seem to be steering Ireland towards turning every rural road and laneway into a suburban street.

    At a time when Ireland’s economy needs rebuilding how will any of these once beautiful areas sustain any form of tourism industry. Who wants to take a scenic tour in a housing estate?

    What will future generations think?

    As a specific example I ask anyone to take a virtual trip along this road – the R261 (link) – in Donegal, northwards from Ardara to the ‘beauty spot’ of Portnoo. This is a journey I made in jaw dropping actuality recently. Anyway, I don’t need to describe it – the evidence is there to be seen on your computer screen. But as I know Donegal reasonably well I can add that most of the small towns and villages now seem to be derelict and largely uninhabited in this region. This seems to have been an unforeseen consequence of everyone upping sticks and moving to new-builds strewn across the road network.

    Tourism Ireland: “Why go to Wales to for a scenic holiday? Come instead to the land of derelict villages and a disfigured countryside. Ireland – a hundred thousand building sites!”.:(


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    Ahh sure, we didn't want to have deserted countryside and no lights on in rural Ireland, did we according to likes of O Cuiv, did we?

    Well actually most of us would prefer if the countryside was completely deserted and people lived in sustainable communities. The cost of living would be lower for a start.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 583 MT


    Double post, same below vvv


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 583 MT


    There is indeed the whole argument of an increased financial and environmental burden placed on society by so much one-off housing. But aside from this what about the simple aesthetic damage? Just how the appearance of the rural landscape has been so altered.

    I think this is important as it's possibly something of an alien concept, or at least alternate view, to the Irish mindset. The Irish definition of what constitutes 'countryside' seems to be different from that of the Welsh, Scottish, English, Germans, French, etc. etc.

    In these societies and most others I imagine that 'countryside' is very much a visual phenomenon. An area has to look a certain way to qualify as rural: little manmade development, untouched nature; in temperate latitudes, things like fields, rivers, forest; an area set aside from the onward technological march of man's control.

    By contrast, the Irish definition of countryside seems to be a political and human construct. It's a place and a philosophy, if you like: Mayo and the county jersey, a political power base, etc. As we've seen in recent decades, an area can be covered in man-made development and still be classed as rural in Ireland. To the Irish mindset, it seems that building ever more one-offs over a valley doesn't diminish its classification as countryside in the slightest.

    I think in Wales urban sprawl, ribbon development and one-off housing would be deemed to diminish an area of countryside's very ruralness. But in Ireland, as the countryside is more a place of identity and a philosophy of life in man's mind, man-made physical change doesn't alter it. Paradoxically, the more house building in the countryside the better - it's evidence of more people adopting the rural philosophy/identity.

    Hence the great contrast between Irish one-offer's fervent desire for more and more development in the countryside (it's adding members to their caucus, if you like) and the horror that a Welsh farmer would probably feel such an onslaught would represent.

    For the Irish, what the place looks like doesn't seem to really come into it.

    The above is a bit of a waffle but maybe it could be condensed somewhat: Irish countryside = an identity/philosophy; European countryside = a visual/ physical phenomenon.

    The appearance of the countryside does matter... elsewhere!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,981 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    My family moved here in the 70s from England and even back then my parents comented upon the negative impact of ribbon development and one of housing in countryside here. We had a copy of the rural Blizters handbook - a building manual the name of which has just escaped me but its infamous for its effects. Obviously its got a lot worse since.

    edit here's the offending article, note the reference across the top.

    445894121_63ffdd0719_z.jpg?zz=1


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,884 101sean


    I agree totally with the sentiments above. Just spent 10 days on N York Moors and N Wales, admittedly both having national parks with heavy planning controls but the contrast is immense. Sure, time can't stand still but the rampant ribbon development and the blight of shiny bungalows has despoiled large amounts of countryside here.

    Attitudes have a lot to do with it, my father grumbled coming out of a pub in Hutton-le-Hole about the total lack of street lighting, he is of an age that thinks it's primitive as he lived with it in his younger days, I reckoned it was great. Think there was an attitude of why should I live in a small place like my parents, lets build a mansion and to hell with the begrudgers and planners.

    The neighbours wind my mother up about the right to have street lights once you have 3 houses together (is that right?), lived in a city all her life and likes dark nights, not that you get much of that around here with the orange glow of sodium street lights everywhere.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,884 101sean


    Mike65, my parents looked at doing this around that time, i was so excited I even built one out of Lego:eek:. I'm sure you could still buy books of Irish Bungalow Plans recently.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    Unfortunately in at least one case I'm familiar with, street lights in rural areas can arise because of antisocial behaviour targetting the old/vulnerable.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    MT, very good analysis.

    I read on the wiki page on "urban sprawl" a salient quote. An American politician a few years back ran on a platform of being "pro-urban sprawl". Now this of course is like saying you're pro-people getting cancer, but I'll go on. He said, "Sprawl is development, growth, more jobs, more people. It's like the American dream unfolding before your eyes."

    As crazy as that quote is, I think that a lot of people living in rural Ireland would agree with him. They think that it's their right to participate in the rural "Irish dream" of a bungalow in a field on a laneway with all the peace and quiet you can handle. I know some people who live like this; they positively love it. They can buy land cheaply and build a huge McMansion and not have the trappings of urban life. They have completely and utterly rejected urbanity and it's important to understand that not only do they not live in an area with any urban form whatsoever; they very specifically reject such a form. They are purposefully staying away from areas that even remotely resemble urbanised ones.

    The problem is, of course, that plenty of other people (including many foreigners) have the same idea. There are many phenomena in life in which one can only enjoy something if most other people aren't doing so too. Road traffic congestion obeys this rule (driving is only pleasureable and fast if most other people aren't doing it the same time as you), an overcrowded beach is another example. Once the rural laneway becomes filled with dozens of other bungalows with other punters trying to take their own slice of the Irish Dream, then no one gets their peace & quiet and surely they will start to leave to somewhere less developed.

    What to do? Very tough one. This rural Irish Dream is so firmly rooted that it'll be hard to shift. A very large sector of the Irish population, and many foreigners who move here (particularly British and Americans), are mad to get in on it. The rural county councils are scared stiff of putting them off so they don't try to stop them. And it keeps on going and going.

    Finally - in fairness, you didn't really choose a great example! The Donegal road is lined with housing that is quite attractive compared to some stuff I've seen, and it's very near the village of Ardara. I've seen blitzed areas where there is absolutely no village of any description anywhere in the vicinity. And Ardara looks quite nice, plenty of rural Irish towns have been decimated by the blitz (Boyle is a salient example that I've experienced).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭ Mrmoe


    What would be your preferred solution to this OP? Stop any one from building in the country side? stop tourists/non locals from building there? What criteria would you want to allow people to build in the countryside?

    There are certain areas that need protection but the vast majority of places generally do not. The majority of the countryside is not dependent on tourism or scenic tours so why should building restrictions be implemented?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Mrmoe wrote: »
    The majority of the countryside is not dependent on tourism or scenic tours so why should building restrictions be implemented?

    Here's my stab at reason for limiting one off development
    • You can't provide descent Broadband services to widely dispersed settlements without huge subsidies
    • Provision of basic services such as water and proper sewage becomes more expensive
    • Ribbon development along national roads makes upgrades considerably more expensive, likewise extra entrances pose a safety issue
    • Hard to provide proper public transport as it's not economic given the low density

    Personally if someone wants to live in a rural one off house that's their choice, but they only have themselves to blame when they can't receive proper public services.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Mrmoe wrote: »
    What would be your preferred solution to this OP? Stop any one from building in the country side? stop tourists/non locals from building there? What criteria would you want to allow people to build in the countryside?

    There are certain areas that need protection but the vast majority of places generally do not. The majority of the countryside is not dependent on tourism or scenic tours so why should building restrictions be implemented?
    Do we not have more than enough houses in rural Ireland as it is? Surely people can buy second hand houses rather than building even more!

    Would you eliminate the need for planning permission altogether?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 19,987 ✭✭✭✭ mikemac


    There is no consistent policy.

    Quite straightforward to get planning permission in Clare. One off housing everywhere.
    I don't know Donegal but I read a lot about it here.

    If you try to the same in Tipperary North, it's pretty much impossible.
    And then you have to show you are a local with and satisfy "local needs" even if you already own the land for generations.
    And then An Taisce will probably jump in.

    Both Clare and Tipperary overlook Lough Derg and it's just not consistent.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Take Sligo County Council for example. In 2003 they rowed in behind the WRC reopening up to Colooney. Since then they have presumedly granted planning permission for these houses (see link below) that have their driveways built across the actual track.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ireland&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=47.617464,93.076172&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ireland&ll=54.18685,-8.503718&spn=0.017302,0.045447&z=15&layer=c&cbll=54.186976,-8.503078&panoid=7hIMs1Fse4Z817idY7XgXQ&cbp=12,1.8,,0,-7.92


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭ spacetweek


    dubhthach wrote: »
    Here's my stab at reason for limiting one off development
    • You can't provide descent Broadband services to widely dispersed settlements without huge subsidies
    • Provision of basic services such as water and proper sewage becomes more expensive
    • Ribbon development along national roads makes upgrades considerably more expensive, likewise extra entrances pose a safety issue
    • Hard to provide proper public transport as it's not economic given the low density

    Personally if someone wants to live in a rural one off house that's their choice, but they only have themselves to blame when they can't receive proper public services.
    Agreed. I would have far less of a problem with it if the houses were treated by their occupants as castles, where they provide all their own services. Since they lose their right to the same levels of services as everyone in towns, they must provide these for themselves - no excessive driving, do not expect public transport, grow as much of your own food as possible, invite people around to your house if you want to have a few drinks. In the future maybe even generate your own electricity. I expect these people to be like pioneers surviving independently.

    Instead, what you get is that a guy moves out to a field and complains that he has to drive 20 miles to the nearest supermarket. THAT'S BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, D**KHEAD. This, above all, is what's wrong with the situation as I see it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 624 Aidan1


    Have Ireland’s rural landscapes been irredeemably disfigured by one-off housing?

    Simple answer yes, but the recent nature of this is critical. The height of the cameras on the cars Google used to collect the imagery makes Streetview bizarrely similar to driving around in a tractor, you can see over hedges and ditches (I know). Now, I spent much of the mid/late 1990s doing exactly that across large parts of the East and South of the Country; jumping into Streetview now is very strange. Practically every field now has a house of some kind stuck into a corner of it, and plenty have sprung whole estates of houses, often in the middle of no where.

    I suppose the most important thing to point out is that, for the very most part, this is 'urban generated rural housing', part of a peri-urban overspill, rather than having any innate rural origin. This type of urban-rural migration became very common across the developed world in the 1970s, but it's worst manifestations were curtailed elsewhere in Europe by proper planning policies. Here, particularly during the boom years, it surfaced as a monumental spate of one off rural housing, due to deliberately lax planning policies. Partly this is down to Dick Roches' relaxation of the guidelines (and thus is a national political issue, not just a local one), and partly it is down to the activities of Councillors at a local level. A huge amount of land was zoned for housing, often on a competitive basis with neighbouring counties (by 2008 we had enough land zoned for housing for over 10 million people), and many councillors spent their entire time lobbying on behalf of individual planning requests.

    The recent NIRSA Report on this is very good, as is the NSS update, all of which point to the urban generated nature of housing, and the fact that populations around Gateways became more dispersed during the period since the publication of the NSS, entire due to poor planning.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Aidan1 wrote: »
    Partly this is down to Dick Roches' relaxation of the guidelines (and thus is a national political issue, not just a local one), and partly it is down to the activities of Councillors at a local level. A huge amount of land was zoned for housing, often on a competitive basis with neighbouring counties (by 2008 we had enough land zoned for housing for over 10 million people), and many councillors spent their entire time lobbying on behalf of individual planning requests.

    For example there is enough land zoned for housing in Kerry to cater for the entire population of Munster! There was uproar from some quarters earlier in the year when it was proposed that some of this land would be "de-zoned"


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    I've also read some sh!te from the likes of the WDC complaining about falling tourist numbers in the west and blaming Dublin for lack of funding for western tourism etc. Get this WDC: Tourists don't want to see a countryside full of bungalows....the west and other places of former natural beauty have seriously blown their best asset. Deal with it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭ Mrmoe


    dubhthach wrote: »
    Here's my stab at reason for limiting one off development
    • You can't provide descent Broadband services to widely dispersed settlements without huge subsidies
    • Provision of basic services such as water and proper sewage becomes more expensive
    • Ribbon development along national roads makes upgrades considerably more expensive, likewise extra entrances pose a safety issue
    • Hard to provide proper public transport as it's not economic given the low density
    Personally if someone wants to live in a rural one off house that's their choice, but they only have themselves to blame when they can't receive proper public services.

    Most of these are being carried out already. Where I am from we do not really have broadband. The best we can muster is wireless broadband from o2/vodafone. It is a fact of life that we have to live with this. Future generations of wireless broadband will help to alleviate this problem without the need for large investments in broadband infrastructure.

    Most of the water infrastructure was paid for/develloped by the people living in the country side. Septic tank systems are generally paid for by the home owner and do a sufficient job in sewage treatment. There are issues with older houses but this is mainly due to poor planning regulations going back decades.

    Planning for road improvements/new roads already puts restrictions on where people can build or not. People simply will not get planning permission for homes if there are proposals for new roads/upgrades.

    Public transport is virtually non existant in rural areas so not much is going to change there.

    I agree with you fully that people should live with the consequences of their choice of living in a rural area without the same amenities as a city or town. However to stop them from making that choice in the first place is unfair in my mind anyway.

    murphaph wrote: »
    Do we not have more than enough houses in rural Ireland as it is? Surely people can buy second hand houses rather than building even more!

    Would you eliminate the need for planning permission altogether?

    I would definitely not eliminate planning permission. If anything I would tighten up the regulations so that environmental impact is negligent. I would be against the goal of stopping people building houses just because they happen to be in the countryside.

    I can only speak from the experience I have in my own area. There does appear to be a glut of new houses being built over the last decade or so. No more than what would have happened in previous decades. If anythibng the population level has dropped. There is definitely a sector where eople have refurbished/renovated old houses to live in but sometimes it is impossible and you have to build a new house as the older houses would generally be occupied by the previous generation.


    I am not against uncontrolled and unregulated building in the countryside but to have a set goal of no building is grossly unfair IMO. The countryside was never an untouched beauty that many people have a romantic idea of in their minds.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    Complete ban on any one-off construction, anywhere for any reason would be a very desirable start.

    Why the ban? This one off housing is costing the nation a fortune as is completely unsustainable on any level from the provision of utilities/services right down to basics like sanitation issues. Some people are actually drinking their own sewage.

    Plus the rest of us are subsidising the life style of these people through higher taxes and utility/service charges. The one off house dweller ends up with poorer quality services and the rest of us foot the bill.

    Not surprisingly that the growth in one off housing was fuelled by our corrupt property boom where people were forced further afield to buy and farmers suddenly realised that agricultural operations were never going to bring the income that selling plots of land would.

    Now's the time for it to stop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 903 ✭✭✭ bernardo mac


    Time County Councillors stopped benefiting from dubious sometimes corrupt and strange planning decisions.Empty buildings aplenty is one result. Time the Planning and Environment Enforcement Offices justified their existence.Ugly edifices, garish monuments to material vanity abound in denuded landscapes in Co.Wexford.The same I'm sure applies across the state.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 583 MT


    Mrmoe wrote:
    ...to have a set goal of no building is grossly unfair IMO.
    Surely, given you favour one-off house building, a restriction in the rate of planning permissions would be more unfair than a complete halt. If you believe something to be inherently good then placing a limit on the supply of it can only be unjust. Why do some get to live the one-off dream and others have to wait, possibly for a long time? But then maybe instead of no building you believe in a free for all?

    The blanket ban advocated by some that oppose one-offs would, in truth, be the fair option. We'd all be equally restricted.

    True, some people could afford to buy out existing one-offs, and others couldn't, but as with scrabbling over antiques containing ivory from another era, such arguments over fairness would become moot if we examined the core of the issue: why a one-off should be desired in the first place? But I want to focus on the whole restrictions thing.

    Some one-offers have conceded to some scaling back, but the problem I have with a reduction in the supply of one-offs is that it is a delayed fudge that will still produce the same end result. For those of us that see the countryside as a visual/physical place free from all but the slightest amount of man-made development, building say 5000 one-offs a year instead of 10,000 still gets us to a point in the not too distant future where the very nature of the countryside is diminished, if not severely eroded.

    Rome wasn't built in a day, but it was eventually. And so will the ruralopolis that the one-offers are hewing for us along every byway, regardless of whether they are slowed down.

    I think that talk of some restrictions on the part of a number of one-off house proponents is more a tactic rather than anything else. Given the ever greater and more noticeable saturation in the countryside, such a move would salve consciences and kick the issue into touch for a bit. What a limit in supply won't do is examine the real issues: if you believe that anyone that wishes to live in a one-off has the right to do so then the process continues indefinitely. And then there’s the ‘why’ of such a view.

    A limit on supply is not the same as a limit.
    Mrmoe wrote:
    ...The countryside was never an untouched beauty that many people have a romantic idea of in their minds.
    What you've said there highlights the very different thinking of one-off proponents from those of us that wish to preserve countryside.

    Beauty might be overstating it, appealing is probably closer to the mark, but a desire for anything will render it attractive. And the untouched nature of the countryside is exactly what those like myself wish to preserve. For us countryside is un-urban, it is undeveloped, it is not suburban. This is not a romantic fancy; it's a definition accepted the world over. But it's interesting that you should use the word because, like a bit of Freudian projection, I suspect a romantic view lies behind much of the one-off outlook.

    You see, people like me are dealing in the accepted observations and terms of cold, hard geography. A town is this, a suburb is that, a rural area is something else, and so on. But Ireland's peculiar champions of ‘dispersed living’ are not. For them this isn't about the visual/physical nature of the countryside; in their philosophy 'countryside' primarily means lifestyle/identity. I suspect an image of a unique kind of countryside does encroach somewhat upon this view but it plays second fiddle to what is at heart, I believe, a political outlook. I think issues of identity are usually inseparable from the political.

    Romance and visceral emotions often turn scientific logic and reason on its head when it comes to identity. Everything becomes subjective.

    A Mullingar solicitor that shops and socialises, as well as works, in the town while building himself a house in an outlying field is seen, by us – and I’m sure anyone from abroad who cares to notice – for what he is. To the romantics of one-off living, he has become a countryman, left the urban behind, and... (and this is where I think politics creeps in) is that bit more of an Irishman.

    Romantic myths lie behind one side of this argument and they are the myths of those that water grass with concrete.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Another issue we might examine is the style of house that has been built in Ireland over the past decade and compare it to what would be allowed in a rural location in GB. I believe that perhaps 5% of Irish homes would have had any chance of receiving planning approval from a GB planning authority (note not UK, as NI has been almost as bad as the RoI for this one off carry on, until their recent ban).

    The proponents of rural one off living are of course, mostly from towns or cities! They are generally NOT people who have themselves grown up in a one off house. There generally is no local "need" and even if there was, people in rural Ireland can satisfy that need by living in......villages! We don't HAVE to de-populate rural Ireland by banning one-off housing. It just means that we concentrate development in villages and small towns instead, perhaps even breathing life back into them!


  • Registered Users Posts: 262 ✭✭ knotknowbody


    murphaph wrote: »
    There generally is no local "need" and even if there was, people in rural Ireland can satisfy that need by living in......villages! We don't HAVE to de-populate rural Ireland by banning one-off housing. It just means that we concentrate development in villages and small towns instead, perhaps even breathing life back into them!

    Fully agree that all development should be concentrated in the towns and villages where services are easier, cheaper and more efficient to provide, very few people have a genuine need to live in a field five miles from the nearest shop, however some do, many farmers need to live on their farms in order to farm it properly and look after their animals as best as is possible.

    These people should be allowed built on their own land provided the house is as unobtrusive as possible and there are no other properties on their land which could be viably modernized or converted to domestic use. It is not fair to expect a farmer in his/her late 20's or early 30's who is starting a family to continue living in his/her family home or to expect them to drive from a house 4/5 miles away in the local village many times a day when they could live beside their farm.

    So I am in favour of a very restrictive planning system for rural areas where local needs actually means local needs, also at the moment you see one member of the family taking over the farm and all the siblings been granted planning on the farm that is bull****, at most their should be one new house on each holding per generation of the family.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,164 ✭✭✭ pg633


    I dislike urban generated one off rural houses but I am going to build one myself on the family farm.

    One off houses are part of the Irish rural mindset and go back as far as ringforts - it will be difficult to change.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    pg633 wrote: »
    I dislike urban generated one off rural houses but I am going to build one myself on the family farm.

    One off houses are part of the Irish rural mindset and go back as far as ringforts - it will be difficult to change.

    So was living as peasants under foreign rule. Anything can change! This is hardly a big change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,298 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Mrmoe wrote: »
    What would be your preferred solution to this OP? Stop any one from building in the country side? stop tourists/non locals from building there? What criteria would you want to allow people to build in the countryside?

    There are certain areas that need protection but the vast majority of places generally do not. The majority of the countryside is not dependent on tourism or scenic tours so why should building restrictions be implemented?

    The solution is simple, a complete ban on any new houses on land that is not currently used for dwelling purposes outside of towns and villages. Development in towns and villages should be encouraged by introducing a similar planning laws to what they have in Britain, whereby there is no new development permitted outside of the town/village limits. Also people should be encourages to reuse existing residential land instead of taking agricultural land. no new planning outside the town/village so you must either renovate an existing house or if you want to build a one off house you must do so on the site of an existing house and use the existing services, entrance onto R/L roads, etc. This way people can still build their own house and live in the country but without adding the existing problems we have with one off housing. After all, between all existing houses and current planning permisson there is no need for any more land to be given over to residential use for a long time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,278 ✭✭✭ dowlingm


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Take Sligo County Council for example. In 2003 they rowed in behind the WRC reopening up to Colooney. Since then they have presumedly granted planning permission for these houses (see link below) that have their driveways built across the actual track.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ireland&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=47.617464,93.076172&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ireland&ll=54.18685,-8.503718&spn=0.017302,0.045447&z=15&layer=c&cbll=54.186976,-8.503078&panoid=7hIMs1Fse4Z817idY7XgXQ&cbp=12,1.8,,0,-7.92
    Didn't that nice minister fella say the WRC to Collooney was going to be fenced in to protect the State's asset and the future right of way? AWKWARD!

    The problem with one-off housing is the former (understandable) mindset of rural Irish people. They had a bit of land and the desire to help their kids so they encouraged them to build houses on their land for free rather than buy in the towns. We had an opportunity to change that in the 2000s when money was less the issue but there was no attempt to hold down land prices in the towns and it's easier to change the habits of a clientelist TD than do a handbrake turn with a feckin supertanker.

    Edit - given the width of that road I'd say the best thing to do is pave the alignment and make a poor man's dual carriageway out of it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭ Mrmoe


    MT wrote: »
    Romance and visceral emotions often turn scientific logic and reason on its head when it comes to identity. Everything becomes subjective.

    This is a good point and I will admit that emotion does come in to it. However, it usually comes from both sides. This issue is about aesthetics. One side has the view that houses in the countryside are essentially an alien artifact that have no place there while the other side see it as being very much what the countryside is.

    If you see that one off housing is a blight on the countryside do you also see any other man made environment/object in the same light? Would you ban wind powered turbines, high tension power lines, farm buildings, irregular patches of forestry, quarries? These often have a much bigger visual impact on the countryside.

    The reason I am against a blanket ban is that it removes flexibility. Without a doubt there are certain areas of countryside where planning would need to be completely banned but this most certainly not belong to all areas. Restricted planning will not necessarily lead to an inevitable plague of black spots and eye sores.

    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    The solution is simple, a complete ban on any new houses on land that is not currently used for dwelling purposes outside of towns and villages. Development in towns and villages should be encouraged by introducing a similar planning laws to what they have in Britain, whereby there is no new development permitted outside of the town/village limits. Also people should be encourages to reuse existing residential land instead of taking agricultural land. no new planning outside the town/village so you must either renovate an existing house or if you want to build a one off house you must do so on the site of an existing house and use the existing services, entrance onto R/L roads, etc. This way people can still build their own house and live in the country but without adding the existing problems we have with one off housing. After all, between all existing houses and current planning permisson there is no need for any more land to be given over to residential use for a long time.

    These planning restrictions would definitely be a good direction to go in but the devil is in the details. If you plan to build a new house on the site of an existing one , how close would you require it to be? Most of the time this results in a practical issues. For example if I wanted to build on my parents farm and if there was a requirement to build next to it, it would have consequences for how the far is run. There would be other more suitable sites that would not have a negative impact on the environment or on the running of the farm itself.

    Restrictions should definitely be implemented but flexibility needs to be allowed as quite often "one size fits all" does not work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,298 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Mrmoe wrote: »
    These planning restrictions would definitely be a good direction to go in but the devil is in the details. If you plan to build a new house on the site of an existing one , how close would you require it to be? Most of the time this results in a practical issues. For example if I wanted to build on my parents farm and if there was a requirement to build next to it, it would have consequences for how the far is run. There would be other more suitable sites that would not have a negative impact on the environment or on the running of the farm itself.

    Restrictions should definitely be implemented but flexibility needs to be allowed as quite often "one size fits all" does not work.

    You misunderstand, or I didnt word my suggestion clearly enough, anyway what I was saying is that if you are building on the site of an existing house you must knock that house. Allowing people to build another house next to an existing one would be no better than the current situation.

    There are plenty of poorly build, dilapidated 60s/70s houses around the country side. These houses are of no architectural significance, are extremely wasteful of energy and renovating them would be so expensive it is better just to knock it and start from scratch. What these houses do have, however, is a water supply (mains, group scheme or well) and an entrance on a road. Why keep adding miles to pipes to the water system and extra entrances onto roads when we can we can reuse whats already there. Like I said, there is enough houses in this country between what is existing and what has been granted planning permission in the last few years to do us for some time to come, especially when you consider that we have net migration and will have for the next few years.

    The cost of building your own house is too cheap anyway, thats the reason everyone does it, so adding the cost of demolition to it is no bad thing. So you can still have your country manor (subject to planning approval) on 10 acres, but the rest of us wont have to pay for your services.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,281 ✭✭✭ westtip


    DWCommuter wrote: »
    Take Sligo County Council for example. In 2003 they rowed in behind the WRC reopening up to Colooney. Since then they have presumedly granted planning permission for these houses (see link below) that have their driveways built across the actual track.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ireland&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=47.617464,93.076172&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Ireland&ll=54.18685,-8.503718&spn=0.017302,0.045447&z=15&layer=c&cbll=54.186976,-8.503078&panoid=7hIMs1Fse4Z817idY7XgXQ&cbp=12,1.8,,0,-7.92

    DW yes precisely D. I know exactly where you mean - if it wasn't laughable it would be sad. I notice the WRC actually goes through a couple of back gardens of new houses along this part of the line, so much for O'cuiv and hsi fencing off and weed killer policy. - I feel a letter to the county manager and director of planning coming along! think I will stick your note in the WRC thread. Re the sentiments of the OP - couldn't agree more rural ireland is now a bungalow blitz along arterial roads - actually strangely the best place to view rural ireland on with less collateral visual damage is from a railway carriage window.


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