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Thread: High Court Judge blames economic crisis on "planning free-for-all"

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    Default High Court Judge blames economic crisis on "planning free-for-all"

    Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh has said “the banking crisis which almost broke the nation” might not have happened had there not been a “planning free-for-all” during the boom years.

    “When the history of the past 20 years or so comes to be written, I think we will come to admire those who raised reasonable arguments against ill-advised development."

    High Court judge blames boom time


    This is one of the major factors in the crisis that does not get nearly enough attention.

    An acre of farmland was an asset worth €10,000.

    Get it rezoned by the local Council and suddenly you had an asset worth (conservatively) €250,000.

    That's is €240,000 of "wealth" created out of thin air by the Council.

    Simply by taking that rezoning decision to the bank you could get them to hand over money using the rezoning as collateral.

    The banks accepted the Councillors' decision at face value, meanwhile the Councillors had probably been persuaded to rezone the land on the basis that the banks wouldn't be supporting the rezoning unless it was feasible.

    Everyone had a get-out clause; everyone had an upside; nobody looked too critically at the situation.

    Because of this we ended up with enough land zoned for housing to accommodate a population of 9 million, and enough land zoned for retail to meet the needs of a population of 12 million.

    I remember doing a calculation on the values of the land that the various Councils were de-zoning back to agriculture in the aftermath of the bubble, and when the new planning regulations kicked into force.

    The figure I came up with, using €250k as the average value of zoned land and €10k as the average value of the dezoned land, was somewhere in the region of €70 Billion.

    Pretty close to the €64 Billion the Banks needed to fix them, and hardly a coincidence.
    "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

    “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” Napoléon Bonaparte

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPN View Post
    Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh has said “the banking crisis which almost broke the nation” might not have happened had there not been a “planning free-for-all” during the boom years.

    “When the history of the past 20 years or so comes to be written, I think we will come to admire those who raised reasonable arguments against ill-advised development."

    High Court judge blames boom time


    This is one of the major factors in the crisis that does not get nearly enough attention.

    An acre of farmland was an asset worth €10,000.

    Get it rezoned by the local Council and suddenly you had an asset worth (conservatively) €250,000.

    That's is €240,000 of "wealth" created out of thin air by the Council.

    Simply by taking that rezoning decision to the bank you could get them to hand over money using the rezoning as collateral.

    The banks accepted the Councillors' decision at face value, meanwhile the Councillors had probably been persuaded to rezone the land on the basis that the banks wouldn't be supporting the rezoning unless it was feasible.

    Everyone had a get-out clause; everyone had an upside; nobody looked too critically at the situation.

    Because of this we ended up with enough land zoned for housing to accommodate a population of 9 million, and enough land zoned for retail to meet the needs of a population of 12 million.

    I remember doing a calculation on the values of the land that the various Councils were de-zoning back to agriculture in the aftermath of the bubble, and when the new planning regulations kicked into force.

    The figure I came up with, using €250k as the average value of zoned land and €10k as the average value of the dezoned land, was somewhere in the region of €70 Billion.

    Pretty close to the €64 Billion the Banks needed to fix them, and hardly a coincidence.
    I'd love to know which Councillors Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh holds personally responsible for our "economic crisis", and of which political persuasion these Councillors were.

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    Politics.ie Member spidermom's Avatar
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    OR....like a government quango spending 30 million plus (???)on a new children hospital in a location that was never likely to achieve planning...with the blessing of the council...the Minister and the government....


    Thank the lord...(at times) for the planning process and Bord Pleanala!!
    When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity.

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    Politics.ie Member Own Arris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reck-less View Post
    I'd love to know which Councillors Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh holds personally responsible for our "economic crisis", and of which political persuasion these Councillors were.
    The FF and FG control over the rezoning of land in the last 30 years in councils led directly to corruption, Phil Hogans stymieing of investigations into such corruption demonstrates how far it has spread. It is my opinion that he played a major part in preventing the truth about him and others of a gombean persuasion from being found out.
    Are we a nation, or are we just an economy in thrall to international private banking?

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    The Judge has a point. Also I've witnessed planning officials being put under very severe political pressure by Councillors and TD's to pass planning applications, regardless of the consequences. Combine it all with the ridiculous "self certification by contractors architect" approach to building regulations in Ireland (an approach the Construction Industry Federation lobbied very hard to achieve and maintain), and you have a recipe for disaster.
    Last edited by Zerubbabel; 28th March 2013 at 04:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reck-less View Post
    I'd love to know which Councillors Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh holds personally responsible for our "economic crisis", and of which political persuasion these Councillors were.
    FF, FG and Amateur-FF primarily. Loads of Independents and even Sinn Féin were involved too. Sinn Féin in Monaghan supported the rezoning of enough land to house the population of Dublin.




    Quote Originally Posted by Own Arris View Post
    The FF and FG control over the rezoning of land in the last 30 years in councils led directly to corruption, Phil Hogans stymieing of investigations into such corruption demonstrates how far it has spread. It is my opinion that he played a major part in preventing the truth about him and others of a gombean persuasion from being found out.
    FF, FG and Amateur-FF. were all involved. Some authorities where Amateur-FF are part of the pact are among the worst offenders.


    Hogan's action on the independent enquiries is as much a political thing as an administrative thing. Too many officials would have their arses nailed to the wall if that were to go through, and the officials in The Custom House look after their own.
    "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

    “When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” Napoléon Bonaparte

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    Politics.ie Member Picasso Republic's Avatar
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    In a country the size of Ireland (small population) things such as local planning which can create millionaires overnight should not be open to political or any other pressure - someone needs to look at a new way to review planning applications in which the personalities reviewing applications cannot be identified and every provisional decision should go through a seconsary audit prior to full notification of the decision.

    I know many farmers and those wanting isolated country houses would disagree with my views, but large urban and suburban developments aside, the approval of ribbon development and random bungalows dotted all over the country (often spoiling very scenic locations) is a blight Ireland will now have to live with.

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    clearily it wasnt free enough or there would be no perceived value in getting the permission. Between the continual marginal application process and the crazy restrictions in developing brownfield sites, the planners created artifical bottlenecks and shortages where there wasnt one.

    The simple approach would have been to layout where people could build on a rolling 30 year basis say based on where infrastructure would be built and let people get on with it. There would then be little value based on paper.

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    Politics.ie Member Volatire's Avatar
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    I thought the economic crisis was caused by the NIMBYs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPN View Post
    Mr Justice Colm MacEochaidh has said “the banking crisis which almost broke the nation” might not have happened had there not been a “planning free-for-all” during the boom years.

    “When the history of the past 20 years or so comes to be written, I think we will come to admire those who raised reasonable arguments against ill-advised development."

    High Court judge blames boom time


    This is one of the major factors in the crisis that does not get nearly enough attention.

    An acre of farmland was an asset worth €10,000.

    Get it rezoned by the local Council and suddenly you had an asset worth (conservatively) €250,000.

    That's is €240,000 of "wealth" created out of thin air by the Council.

    Simply by taking that rezoning decision to the bank you could get them to hand over money using the rezoning as collateral.

    The banks accepted the Councillors' decision at face value, meanwhile the Councillors had probably been persuaded to rezone the land on the basis that the banks wouldn't be supporting the rezoning unless it was feasible.

    Everyone had a get-out clause; everyone had an upside; nobody looked too critically at the situation.

    Because of this we ended up with enough land zoned for housing to accommodate a population of 9 million, and enough land zoned for retail to meet the needs of a population of 12 million.

    I remember doing a calculation on the values of the land that the various Councils were de-zoning back to agriculture in the aftermath of the bubble, and when the new planning regulations kicked into force.

    The figure I came up with, using €250k as the average value of zoned land and €10k as the average value of the dezoned land, was somewhere in the region of €70 Billion.

    Pretty close to the €64 Billion the Banks needed to fix them, and hardly a coincidence.
    land 10k check, ffhq 500 check, attendance at cdc race night 500 check, donation to cllr 500 check......thats 11.5 k to make 250k...

    nice work if you can get it......indeed

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