Housing Ireland – Blighted Bliss?
“Housing development in Ireland over the past 30 years, be it suburban housing estates, one-off rural housing, and latterly apartments or holiday villages, has attracted its share of criticism and indeed condemnation at times from environmental bodies, the media and others.
The fact that the criticism and condemnation is as vociferous today as it was 30 years ago would suggest an unchanged scenario. Indeed it could be said that the bungalow, the Tiffany Downs, the shoebox apartment and holiday village suburbia in an unlikely alliance have comfortably won the war.”
Maurice Moloney, Cork County Manager
Terry O’ Regan
Session 1 Landscape Alliance Ireland and The European Picture
European Landscape Convention Terry O’ Regan
“As with any document arrived at through consensus we all might have some reservations about certain aspects of the convention, but overall it is an excellent document illustrating a clear understanding of what landscape quality is all about and of the fact that we must address the total landscape in a very integrated way, if we are to on the one hand to preserve the best of what we have inherited and perhaps more importantly create something better for the future.”
European Landscape Characterisation Assessment Initiative Cathy Buchanan
‘Currently, in Ireland landscape character assessment is proceeding at a local level in the effective absence of an adequately developed national framework. It is likely that we will regret that poorly integrated approach. The situation has been rather similar at a European level, with each country pursuing their own independent strategy in the absence of an agreed European framework. The European Landscape Characterisation Assessment Initiative is intended to form the basis for an integrated European approach. ’
Housing in Cities and Large Towns
“All of these
ideas and concepts that I have described are driven by our urgent need
to provide more homes. It is not so much an issue of density or the lack
of density, but it actually about how we do it and if we deal with the
provision of urban homes with imagination and if we work together with
local communities I believe that we can create environments within our
cities and towns that will make them very attractive places in which to
live, such that people will want to partake in that approach and become
stakeholders in these new communities and thereby relieve some of the
housing pressure that the rural landscape of the country is currently
Housing in Rural and Coastal Areas
“There is a fundamental question to be answered, should we build or should we not build in rural and coastal areas. It is very fundamental, because if we adopt a spatially differentiated response to that question, ‘yes’ in some places, ‘no’ in others, then we must be aware of the human, social and economic impacts of those decisions and even the cultural implications.
You become absolutely
powerless in the system, so of course people in that situation are going
to fight their own corner, for their own site, for their own home and
if that takes time and money, so be it, but if we are not prepared to
invest the time and the money, and if we don't move away from that confrontational
scenario to a more inclusive system, then we shouldn't bother discussing
it, we shouldn’t even have consultation processes.”
Housing in Small Towns and Villages
“I am convinced that scattered housing is bad for people and I will explain my case. I know it is about landscape, but I am going to leave that aside because in the end of the day it is about so much more. You have seen my photographs and you can make your own judgements about that and most people I think would feel that aesthetic judgement is personal, so I will leave it at that and my arguments are going to focus on the environmental side and on the social side and I will start with the individual.
Scattered housing is bad for people because those who have money or land are leaving the villages for a better lifestyle and the lifestyle is good in the rural areas, that is why people are going, they are not stupid. The lifestyle is wonderful; with the most wonderful, natural environment and quietness and still a great sense of community and really no great loss of very many services as long as you have your car.
What is happening
is that the old and the poor are being left in the villages, just as they
are being left behind in the cities. We are bringing the city problems
into the rural areas.”
Terry O’ Regan
List of Participants