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 Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation

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PostSubject: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:12 am

Read a couple of interesting articles in the IT this week. Don't know if any members of the Machine Nation are attending the conference mentioned later in the week. Anyway, loads to discuss from a structural p.o.v.

PS - If Mods want to relocate or restructure this thread, pls do.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2008/0331/1206752248397.html
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2008/0401/1206977159052.html
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:40 am

Gonna have to get a subscription to the IT or something.. Can google that later though, looks interesting enough as planning is certainly something lacking in Ireland and proper planning would I think avoid a lot of the political bickering you get over issues which revolve around planning or lack of it.

More crytpo in Galway for example
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0401/water.html?rss

As for where this thread should be ... ? Infrastructure ? Systems and changing the System?
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:43 pm

Very fond of Conor Skehan, but thought the articles were load of waffle with very liitle content. The articles assume that the tendency to strong east-coast growth should be backed by "planning" - that is, infrastructural development should follow the trend. They make the classic Planner's mistake of assuming that current trends will dictate the future.

There is a group at DIT that are making a very strong play for redrawing the National Spatial Strategy and writing off "balanced regional development". There is a recognition by the group that there is strong development pressure along the Dublin - Belfast corridor. Their response to the trend is to say that it invalidates any strategic approach to distributing development in Ireland. The underlying belief I presume is that Ireland as a whole can compete better globally if we have an urban area of a scale comparable to larger european cities. Neither of those two assumptions in themselves are wrong - it is just that they are only a very small part of the picture that needs to inform strategic spatial planning.

There a profound dangers in planning for the future on the basis of the past. In the early 1990s there was virtually no serviced land available in Ireland and very little zoned land, as the population projections were based on the emigration trends of the 1980s. That contributed to corruption, as councillors could see for themselves that there was not enough land zoned. It also contributed to house price increase as land was far too tightly rationed by planners. By the time there was recognition of economic growth, we were playing catch up in servicing land and zoning it. At this stage, virtually every sewerage system in the country is at capacity, and even if there was a market for houses they can't be built. Dun Laoaghaire Rathdown for example has put a bar on any development bigger than 2 houses for the next 3-4 years because their water services are maxed out.

Skehan's articles are not based on a serious scoping of probable future trends - these trends include a probability of water shortage in the east of the country and the need to find innovative and much more sustainable forms of living or the trend for dispersal of development to follow broadband -also the need to have local food supplies and to allow for sea level rise.

The statement in the article that 100,000 is the optimum sustainable community is dubious, as communities of 20,000-40,000 can be entirely walk and cycle communities without the need for motor transport. For an environmentalist like Conor Skehan who had an important influence on Irish planning at certain stages, it is suprising to see how little environmental content there is in the articles - instead there is some light weight econonomic observation. I don't know anything about the co-author - perhaps he provided the economics-lite for the article.

The plus is there needs to be a debate, and no better time for doing it than when development is at a stand still.
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:48 am

am having a mad week so can't post further til the weekend, but really wanted to get a discussion going (unless you have all done this death already over on p.ie).

I am unfamiliar with Skehan so very very interested in reading more. The DIT group you mentioned also definitely sound interesting. Will google it myself over the weekend but if you have any handy links / reading material, would be really grateful
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Fri Apr 04, 2008 7:54 am

There a profound dangers in planning for the future on the basis of the past.

Like Generals always planning on the basis of the last war this approach has real dangers as you point out cactus flower. Yet if we are not to plan for the future based on our past experience how are we to plan do you think? Take our national ports capacity projections for example - now that growth has slowed, on what basis to we calculate medium term capacity needs?

And as a linked question (hey, the weekend is nigh, plenty of time to reflect...) to what extent are we politically able to plan anyway really? By which I mean is misguided political interference not still bedevilling our efforts to plan development?
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:37 am

An Irish Town Planner's Blog

THROUGH WILFUL neglect of the naturally emerging bigger picture, current Irish strategic policy is trying to plan against the emergence of a naturally urbanising Ireland. Instead, we are trying to plan nationally for what is locally and politically expedient, but either way we are planning to fail, write Conor Skehan and Lorcan Sirr .


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:38 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : to fit the text into the post better)
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:24 pm

The title of the first of the two articles was
"Planning for a future that is going to happen, not against it".

This expresses well the "go with the flow" agenda that is being promoted.
Helium Three said
Yet if we are not to plan for the future based on our past experience how are we to plan do you think? Take our national ports capacity projections for example - now that growth has slowed, on what basis to we calculate medium term capacity needs?

It is very difficult to get people, even planners, to genuinely plan for the future rather than just for immediately perceived needs. In the 1990s I had battles not only with the planning authorities and the IDA but also with the Port Authority in terms of a portal development not in Dublin. The undeveloped lands around the new quays were in danger of being swallowed up for industrial development that was not even port related. The strategic need was to scope out the full long term potential of the port itself and keep any lands with port potential reserved for future extension. The next priority was to reserve lands for rail and road access and to allocate lands next to the port for directly port-related industry. It would have been easy to assume that people would naturally think ahead and plan but they don't, you have to fight for it every inch of the way.

These decisions are crucial and once a mistake is made, like severing an existing rail route at one point, it is sometimes impossible to undo the damage.

CIE sold off a bit of land in Dublin which made it impossible for a certain route to turn the train and impacted on freight rail services at the other end of Ireland.
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:20 am

Quote :
FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation

A LEADING hotelier and Fianna Fáil town councillor has pleaded guilty to trying to influence a zoning decision relating to his family-owned property.

Killarney mayor Patrick O’Donoghue, 41, was charged at the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee, with seeking to influence a decision of Killarney Town Council arising from a motion to rezone lands surrounding the Gleneagle Hotel, in Killarney, in 2006.

It is believed to be the first prosecution of a councillor for a breach of ethics legislation.

O’Donoghue is managing director of the Gleneagle Hotel group, a town councillor and is also a director of both Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

The charge of seeking to influence the decision of a local authority was brought under the ethics legislation — Section 177, 181 and 182 of the Local Government Act 2001.

Prosecuting counsel Tom Rice said he was asking to have O’Donoghue arraigned on one of two charges.

http://www.examiner.ie/ireland/idgbgbcwql/

Thankfully this doesn't happen too much around the pllace.
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PostSubject: Re: Strategic Planning // FF councillor pleads guilty to breaching zoning ethics legislation   Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 pm

I wonder will they win this case. I think I heard he was present at the discussion and didn't take part in the vote, but didn't leave the meeting as he should have.

There are many, many worse things I have seen in Council Chambers, but lines must be drawn firmly. There are signs of change here.
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