‘Ugly and dysfunctional development’
Sir, – Michael McDowell’s comments on the dysfunction engendered by the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) plan are spot-on (“New housing process will allow ugly and dysfunctional development”, Opinion and Analysis, December 30th).
The opportunistic use of “handkerchief sites owned and chosen by developers” can only fail to meet a minimum standard of prospective urban planning. In addition, any previous level of confidence and respect for the arbitration of An Bord Pleanála in the process has been severely eroded.
In the absence of the usual contribution from the local councils and the ensuing public accountability, An Bord Pleanála has been placed in an invidious position. It seems to have been largely reduced to a rubber-stamp function. It has expedited the supply of housing permits at any cost, and in exceptionally overbearing configurations, rather than standing up for a coherent community-based plan for the city, at a scale which is in harmony with the built and social environment. It will take some time for its good name to be restored, even when the SHD is repealed. – Yours, etc,