Friday, March 05, 2004

"Bungalow blitz"

An editorial in this morning's Irish Examiner provides alarming statistics on the futility of trying to build a house on land in a rural area under the current regime.
On average, 85% of one-off housing applications are granted planning permission by local authorities. But appeals are regularly lodged against these permissions, mainly by An Taisce.

Two years ago, according to the most up-to-date figures, a whopping 76% of those appeals were upheld by An Bord Pleanála on foot of objections.
Why do we have a national planning board deciding on whether someone can build a house on their land? Why do they entertain objections to such proposals from a body that is just short of being environmental fascists?

I still don't see what business it is of mine (or, by extension, the government) if people want to build 'South Fork' style houses on their land. We'd all like it if our eyes never had to settle on anything less than beautiful, but give me a break. Denying people the right to build a house on their own land because you don't like the style of the house they want to build is arrogance in the extreme.

Besides, I always thought beauty was in the eye of the beholder.