Wealthy Ireland

The economy, planning and the environment

Sir, – David McWilliams makes a persuasive argument for the need to build housing “on a massive scale” (“Although wealthy, Ireland feels completely different from most other wealthy countries”, Opinion, March 25th).

However, his belief that this requires “loosening up planning restrictions” is worrying. Poor planning already encourages developers to build hundreds of visually unimaginative and identikit houses aligned in straight rows with carports in front and handkerchief gardens at the back.

Foresightful planning would allow for architectural variety and must incorporate real gardens and biodiversity for the health of residents, their children and the planet.

Being “rich and poor” has to move beyond numbers! – Yours, etc,




Co Wicklow.

Sir, – What David McWilliams fails to mention is the pressing global and national necessity to design policies and manage economies with the environmental needs of the planet foremost in mind. As long as economics, “the economy”, fails to do this, lives will only get worse.

McWilliams illustrates the issue with the poor railways and lack of housing. Money earnt against that background isn’t fully “real” income. It has an in-built society reduction. Ireland is living on borrowed time, and borrowed talent, which isn’t going to last. The pressing need is for enlightened zero carbon investment free from political shenanigans. – Yours, etc,