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

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

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Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty