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Councillors Helped To Fuel Property Boom

Those of our readers who are eager to understand, at one glance, the current state of Europe’s five shakiest economies, all of which have larger debts than Britain, France and Germany, should spend a little time viewing the diagram below, which comes courtesy of Bill Marsh/The New York Times.  See related article

Arrow widths are shown proportional to debt amounts. Perhaps Union Leaders and their membership, plotting the imminent suicide of this State, can more fully understand what lies ahead.

The state of Europe

Meanwhile back home in Co. Tipperary and the touchy topic of Land Rezoning.

The latter came at a time when the construction boom was expected to last forever and a day, and when this country was nose deep in cash, most of it shoveled out in badly advised and secured bank loans.

Our County Councillors have really, very few real powers, but unfortunately for tax payers, one of these is the rezoning of land. These Councillors, with visionary plans of their future elevation to Dail Eireann, did all in their power to mollify supporters, who were landowners and developers, pushed through land rezoning despite the best advice of regional planners.  Warnings regarding flood plains and required infrastructure, such as water treatment, sewage, roads, railways, were not heeded and now it’s too late.

The North Tipperary Authority, thankfully, under zoned land, leaving us now best placed to actually build proper sustainable community networked housing as we require it in the coming years. South Tipperary on the other hand were amongst the countries worst offenders for over zoning land for property and profit and now face the prospect of having to dezone much of this unwanted product, which is estimated to be approx.17 times above their future requirement.

Green  Minister responsible for Planning, Mr Ciaran Cuffe has informed the councils who had engaged in this crazy rezoning in previous years, that they now have three remaining options.

(1) De-zone the land. (2) Designate the land for other purposes. (3) Commit only to restricted development, where sustained development meets with planners approval.

Council Authorities now forced to de-zone lands for over 800,000 homes, will not have to pay compensation to developers. Any hope of  compensation, thankfully, was already erased in the 2000 Planning and Development Act.

Ciaran Cuffe further stated that Local Authorities will be given just 12 months for their development plans to come in line with logical regional guidelines. Official figures by each local authority sent to the Department of the Environment reveal that councils have rezoned – wait for it – 33,000 hectares of land or enough to build a staggering 1,086,119 units, and this at a time when thousands of homes already lie empty, thus coining that new phrase ‘ghost estates’.

Official projections now reviewed by the Government have found that fewer than 300,000 new units will be needed between now and 2016.

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