Slugger O'Toole

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50% of all new residential planning permissions in Donegal were in unzoned land…

Mon 16 April 2012, 11:24am

What do Irish people north and south seem to have a similar problem with. Planning, it seems, although it is hard to find anywhere in Northern Ireland that compares with the scale and sheer anarchy of the Donegal system.

It a statement An Taisce pointed out that Donegal had over 5,500 acres zoned for housing in 2010 which was enough for 180,000 people. Despite this 50% of all new residential planning permissions c ten years was for land that was unzoned. [Emphasis added]

Some of this may be related to the clachan tradition going back centuries, where families congregate in or near the family holding. But it seems the further it drew away from Dublin the more lightly Ireland’s democratically weak local authorities found it less and less possible [or indeed desirable? - Ed] to hold the line for planning.

For the record, the worst councils were: Donegal, Roscommon, Leitrim, Kerry, Mayo, Galway County, Cavan, Carlow and Waterford County Councils

More detail from Journal.ie

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Comments (4)

  1. tuatha (profile) says:

    Donegal Council was especially stringent throughout the Tiger years in forcing people into urban (ie sewered, kerbed, town (sic!) water) areas, in defiance of previous habit of allowing building on the home area, even if outline P/P would previously have been a given.

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  2. aquifer (profile) says:

    Better for everyone in the long run.

    i.e. Planned

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  3. Nevin (profile) says:

    “Some of this may be related to the clachan tradition”

    A very interesting reference, Mick, so I hope you don’t mind me fleshing it out a little bit as it does have relevance up here in Moyle.

    I live in a farmhouse that was part of such a clachan. These little collections of homes appeared to serve a townland at a time when tenant farmers had plots dotted at random; this clachan is still known as ‘The Toon’. By the 18th century local townlands were apparently divided into 30 acre strips of good, middling and bad land and new farmyards were built on strips that were too far away from the central clachan. The online maps for Griffith’s Valuation circa 1860 illustrate this evolving arrangement.

    The clachan has become the new buzz-word for housing in rural areas but these new clachans are often the location of second homes for the Holywood set and other places that had surplus income during the boom years.

    The new clachans at Ballyallaght and at Torr are based on old clachans but there the likeness ends. For whatever reasons, the NI planning service has been unable to generate a sense of fairness for all planning applicants. It would be unwise to elaborate on ‘transparently erratic’ reasons without the benefit of official documentation.

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  4. Nevin (profile) says:

    ‘transparently erratic’ reasons should read ‘transparently erratic’ decisions.

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