Sir, – Sheila Deegan (Letters, January 21st) is worried about relaxed planning guidelines in Dublin "creating ghettos for the future". A lack of imaginative planning is a problem in other places too, with apartment blocks proliferating without proper infrastructure and a shocking lack of publicly accessible green space, especially semi-wild or biodiverse public space. One of the reasons for this situation may be that local councillors seem to have so little planning power, which is either controlled centrally, or wielded by profiteering local developers. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – I couldn’t agree more with Sheila Deegan and her assertion that it is time that urban planning focused on housing outside the capital.
It’s been over 50 years now since the Buchanan report recommended that future governments and planners did just that. However, years of planning tribunals revealed succinctly the motivating factors behind a great many planning decisions in this country.
For various reasons, few of them sensible, the capital keeps expanding and without the correct transport infrastructure to support this. For example, we remain the only European capital without an underground rail system.
Rationally, the status quo should not continue as it is counterproductive in the long run. However, Governments don’t think in this way and know that instant gratification plays better with a significant percentage of the voting public.
Ireland’s population grew by 64,500 between 2018 and 2019, with almost 30 per cent of the population concentrated in the capital. Dublin’s population is forecast to further increase by a massive 56 per cent in the next 11 years unless this current trend is arrested. Regrettably, I see little indication of a change in thinking. To say the least, the result will be chaotic on a social, environmental and even economic level. – Yours, etc,