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 Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?

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PostSubject: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Sun May 04, 2008 2:20 pm

* Radical new bill to cut state land costs gets the green light - SBP Link *

Quote :
Landowners have made record profits from the sale of sites needed for schools and public projects, such as the Luas line in south Dublin. A controversial ‘use it or lose it’ mechanism may set a five-year time limit for landowners to develop zoned land or have it acquired on a compulsory basis at below the market value.

Quote :
‘‘I have no doubt that any legislation affecting land rights will be tested in the courts, but we do have to address this issue, because, at the moment, land prices are unsustainable, in terms of providing good quality infrastructure,” Gormley told The Sunday Business Post.

If John Gormley is in need of votes next time I'd consider moving there to vote for him. Sorry I couldn't write a preamble to it but I don't understand the processes of zoning land and this Act challenges those
processes that are there at present.

There must be implications for many areas of our society as a result of this bill, including the forestry discussion we are having here at the moment.
Pin Discussion on it Like a Star @ heaven
Politics.ie Discussion
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PostSubject: Re: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Sun May 04, 2008 11:49 pm

It seems to me that this latest mirage is attempting to put the blame on a lack of land for the lack of an infrastructure. If the truth be told, land grabbing or the lack of it has not played any role in the failure to provide infrastructure. All this new measure will ensure is that the courts will spend a fortune in public money to point out that this move is unconstitutional.

If something can be put up with for five years, it cannot be considered an emergency. The constitution states that the right to own and possess property can only put aside in the face of a public exigency. An 'exigency,' is of course an emergency. I'm also dismayed that the article in question is promoting that this thing that pretends to be an idea is trying to hide under the blanket of the 'common good.' If these parties bothered to read the constitution, they'd see that the preamble defines the common good as:
Quote :
... And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
In other words, the common good is arrived at by observing, respecting and upholding the rights and freedoms of the individual. It is not about worrying about the collective. The collective is healthy if the individual is healthy.


If the problem regarding the lack of infrastructure were to be looked at in terms of actually dealing with it and providing a solution we'd see that CPOing (CPO - Compulsory Purchase Order) land does not provide a viable route to providing an infrastructure. Look at O'Connell St. in Dublin for example. The Carlton site was CPOed years ago, given to a developer without a tendering process happening and when and if this site is eventually developed (very doubtful) it will not go towards providing an infrastructure. Instead it will:

i. Bottleneck traffic on O'Connell St. as 'consumers' try to find parking there.
ii. End Ireland's oldest market on Moore St. as traders are told to piss off. (Take five grand or some paltry sum close to it each and get lost or be CPOed too!)
iii. I have it on good authority (a DCC elected representative) that the GPO will eventually fall into this development too if phase one (the Carlton site) is swallowed by the masses.
iv. This development (the phase 1 part) is valued at €1.2 billion. All potential public money and it will facilitate private individuals. What will DCC do (or have they done) with the profit from this particular land grab?

It should be remembered that once land is grabbed by some public authority, it is in the vast majority of cases sold or given to private developers. I'm being kind here as I cannot think of an example of where land that was grabbed was kept in public hands. Private bodies might well provide something that masquerades as an infrastructure but this is a very thin disguise. The Luas for example is like something out of Calcutta (no offense to Indians intended). It makes lots of cash but is both a very poor 'service' and it totally messes up an already banjaxed traffic system in Dublin. How many Irish citizens had their property rights ripped from them to provide a cash cow offering to an already obese multinational?

It seems to me that Mr. Gormley is advocating more of the same. I wonder if he has any credible studies that he's working from? Or indeed, has he ordered any to be carried out?

To me, it looks to be a case of speech bypassing critical faculties here. To be seen to be doing something is one thing: where are the benefits that this plan includes? More to the point, what is the full scope of this plan; does it just cover urban development or does it intend to move into rural areas too?

I'm not taking a pot shot at your good self Auditor #9, neither am I trying to trample on the political beliefs that you're very entitled to. I'm just looking at this plan and cannot fathom how it's supposed to aid the infrastructure problem and indeed I'm puzzled (to put it mildly) how Mr. Gormley thinks he can package it so and sell it.
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PostSubject: Re: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Mon May 05, 2008 1:28 am

Hermes wrote:
I'm not taking a pot shot at your good self Auditor #9, neither am I trying to trample on the political beliefs that you're very entitled to. I'm just looking at this plan and cannot fathom how it's supposed to aid the infrastructure problem and indeed I'm puzzled (to put it mildly) how Mr. Gormley thinks he can package it so and sell it.
I was reading about the Luas in Saturday's Irish Times and they are going to lose 2million a year if the line from Dundrum through Terenure and Harrdlds Ex goes ahead .. and as you say all for to build a Calcutta-style service. Dublin should have had a metro underground by now and I'd question why it doesn't .. but it seems that that city is stuck with trying to build a system that is of Victorian proportions to say the least (the Luas). Over on p.ie they had a good discussion recently about doubling the capacity on the Luas by making it double-decker ... an interesting Band Aid over the spit and sellotape set-up that's currently there if it ever goes ahead. It won't though - Dublin will remain problematic forever at current progress though a huge dose of low-tech might be the way forward if the SBPosts front page article about restricting traffic in the centre around Trinity comes to fruition - that and walking, cycling and QBCs, maybe futurstic little electric cars only allowed but low tech all round.

If this bill doesn't help solve Dublin's problems then it should contribute elsewhere and in future to breaking some money-grip that land owners have over land that could be used publicly because it simply exists in public space and is needed at a reasonable cost for necessary infrastructure and moreso, amenities.

However, I understand that there may be constitutional issues with this bill and I'd be interested in seeing how they conflict and tangle themselves in my own political beliefs on this now.
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PostSubject: Re: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Mon May 05, 2008 1:36 am

The main reason why land wasn't released in the last ten years was either lack of sewerage, water or roads, or because it wasn't zoned. It can take ten years from zoning for a farm family to find an alternative farm, sort things out in the family and move. Some farmers don't want to move. Land was zoned that could not be developed for those reasons, or because it was on a flood plain.

The bogeys of bad developers and planning appeals were not that relevant.

In Spain when they develop urban edges a partnership is formed between the landowner, local authority and developers. Each party contributes to developing the land (local authority provides sewerage/water/roads etc.). The profits of the development are then shared out proportionately.

The Greens have just sucked this out of their thumbs the same as the currently proposed "stop" on building in small towns and villages, which runs directly in opposition to the National Spatial Strategy.
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PostSubject: Re: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Wed May 07, 2008 10:30 am

cactus flower wrote:
The main reason why land wasn't released in the last ten years was either lack of sewerage, water or roads, or because it wasn't zoned.
How does zoning proceed in Ireland will someone explain. If a private developer wants to build a multiplex shopping centre and the whole shebang in Ennis, at the opposite end of the town from a similar set up then what's stopping them?

Quote :
The Greens have just sucked this out of their thumbs the same as the currently proposed "stop" on building in small towns and villages, which runs directly in opposition to the National Spatial Strategy.
There was a discussion recently on p.ie about this and there was also reference to the Mayo county plan in Archiseek. One response in Archiseek was "that's carte-blanche to one-off housing". Is it true that the Greens are letting this happen?

This is from The Property Pin
jamesblonde wrote:
provost wrote:
nuts wrote:
Stingy Buyer wrote:

kerrynorth wrote:

Also included is the compulsory acquisition of the land for public projects, including housing and schools at a little over agricultural values rather than development value.

Excellent move. We should have had this ages ago.
_________________
What, Communism?
Nah, It's probably means that land will be bought to put up stuff a community needs like schools, playground, swimming pools etc. This would be a welcome change to such stuff being sold in order to throw up apartments.
Well, then the Americans, Brits, etc are all commies.
Every civilized country has a law of eminent domain - except yours truly.
This law is needed if we ever want to have good transport infrastructure, affordable childcare (state provided, of course), and good quality of life.
Again, it's the Greens pushing this. Not Cowan.

Does every country have a law of eminent domain and if so what is it?


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Wed May 07, 2008 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Wed May 07, 2008 11:57 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Does every country have a law of eminent domain and if so what is it?

Eminent domain is the right that a Government has to purchase private property from an individual or a group whether the said property is for sale or not. Practically every country on the planet has a variation of it. We have CPOs and they're supposed to be limited to conditions whereby the removal of private property rights are in answer to a public exigency.

Similarly, we also have CAOs (Compulsory Acquisition Orders). These too would seem to be limited to where a public exigency exists. Though how one could consider facilitating the likes of Shell in Mayo to give them our natural resources, a public exigency, is anyone's guess. Methinks this particular chicken may come home too roost in the near future. Michael D. Higgins was having a go at these particular CAOs yesterday in the Times. I wonder will this influence Mr. Gormley's thinking in any way?
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PostSubject: Re: Radical new bill to boost cheaper public infrastructure?   Wed May 07, 2008 12:57 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
The main reason why land wasn't released in the last ten years was either lack of sewerage, water or roads, or because it wasn't zoned.
How does zoning proceed in Ireland will someone explain. If a private developer wants to build a multiplex shopping centre and the whole shebang in Ennis, at the opposite end of the town from a similar set up then what's stopping them?

Quote :
The Greens have just sucked this out of their thumbs the same as the currently proposed "stop" on building in small towns and villages, which runs directly in opposition to the National Spatial Strategy.
There was a discussion recently on p.ie about this and there was also reference to the Mayo county plan in Archiseek. One response in Archiseek was "that's carte-blanche to one-off housing". Is it true that the Greens are letting this happen?

This is from The Property Pin
jamesblonde wrote:
provost wrote:
nuts wrote:
Stingy Buyer wrote:

kerrynorth wrote:

Also included is the compulsory acquisition of the land for public projects, including housing and schools at a little over agricultural values rather than development value.

Excellent move. We should have had this ages ago.
_________________
What, Communism?
Nah, It's probably means that land will be bought to put up stuff a community needs like schools, playground, swimming pools etc. This would be a welcome change to such stuff being sold in order to throw up apartments.
Well, then the Americans, Brits, etc are all commies.
Every civilized country has a law of eminent domain - except yours truly.
This law is needed if we ever want to have good transport infrastructure, affordable childcare (state provided, of course), and good quality of life.
Again, it's the Greens pushing this. Not Cowan.

Does every country have a law of eminent domain and if so what is it?

I think I posted this on the on P.ie too. You can get very little real discussion there on architecture or planning because there a number of doctrinaire Greens who shout and don't listen, and there is a trolly poster who says he is a planner with Dublin City Council and apparently spends the whole day on Politics.ie: he also will allow no discussion of the wonderful things being proposed for us.

These are the draft Guidelines - I made a submission on them last week. There are some good things in them, but the limits proposed for village and small towns are absurd and cut right across the National Spatial Strategy, that aims to get a switch from scattered to village and small town living in rural areas. One of the main reasons people in Ireland resisted living in villages was because that was where the local authority housing estate was. We seemed to have finally overcome that nonsense and now we have the Greens turning back the clock: here is a quote (btw what on earth is happening to gov. websites)


http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/
Planning/FileDownLoad,16691,en.pdf

On villages the Guidelines say
For villages of under 400 in population, general
development of new housing schemes of more than about 10-12 units will usually be difficult or inappropriate due to an absence of a sufficiently developed urban structure to cater for the development and should therefore be discouraged.


At edge of small town/village, under controlled circumstances, densities lower than 15-20 dwellings per hectare may be appropriate as long as such low-density development does not exceed 20% of total new planned housing.

This would suggest a row of 9 terraced houses and one larger house would be the limit in a five year period.

In Ireland about half our residential development over the last five years has been one off housing scattered everywhere and completely car dependent (usually 2 cars). The main sensible alternative is village development. Historically, you often get a nice little cluster of church, school, shop etc. with very few houses - this is obviously the ideal place to group some development for rural people. Essentially the Greens are saying there is no sewerage treatment etc. available in these places. We won't allow you to put it in, so you can't build. There has been some bad, ugly village development over the last 5 years but the Guidelines throw the baby out with the bathwater.
There is no investment fund for infrastructure for these places - Councils left it up to private developers to put in sewerage and that meant an estate of at least 50 houses to make it viable. If Councils had invested, there could have been say a 20 house development with the rest of the capacity used for old unserviced houses and a future supply of similar development.

I see that Hermes has replied to the 'eminent domain' question. I have never heard the term used before. In Ireland you would hear the term "common good". Since the 19th century councils have been able to put a public sewer across someone's land without their consent. This was a public health measure because people were dying of cholera in the cities. CPOs are used mainly for roads but occasionally for other 'common good' projects.

School sites, parks and so on need to be acquired. The simplest way of dealing with this in my view would be to increase capital gains tax on all serviced land and use the money to acquire the land needed. The Spanish have a good way of dealing with this too - they make a plan and the landowners, developers and council develop the area: landowners give land, developers build on it and the local authority puts in the road, sewerage and other services. They split any profit in proportion to the value of their contribution.

I generally welcome the Greens in government. One problem they have I think is they are inexperienced. They have not gone through the process yet of putting in policy and finding that it did not work or had unwanted repercussions, because it was not fully thought through. They have a beleaguered psychology which makes them over defensive and not willing to listen to alternative views. We are seeing the same with biofuels.
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