3 Apr 2007

Finally. Do you remember that time when the Junior Minister for Health, Joe Jacobs, got rumbled by Marian Finucane on her radio show for not having a disaster plan for the imminent attack of whatever it was we were overreacting to at the time? Well, thankfully the DoH has finally gotten round to issuing the much anticipated guidelines.

http://www.safenow.org/

And for some reason, I can’t resist this one:

http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/g3/bells.htm

3 Apr 2007
Speaking of An Bord. I’ve written a letter to the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government in relation to an experience I had a short while ago. I have to be sketchy about the details because the client and building owner involved – just your average decent developer/citizen - is very sensitive about the situation, fearful that creating a fuss will make life difficult for him in his future dealings with the council, and I have to respect that. But it goes like this:
3 Apr 2007
Thanks to everyone (Keith Graham in particular, who’s witty little contributions I’ve come to rely on) who passed on the story of what happened in County Wicklow a few weeks back where that poor man, Professor Harbison – who’s house I’ve never visited but I’m informed by Keith is in a very rural area, about 250 metres off the public road and barely visible - was refused planning permission to retain three windows in his kitchen and dining room because Wicklow County Council opined that the ‘proposed windows would negatively impact on the amenity and agricultural use of the adjoining field’.
3 Apr 2007
nteresting letter from Tom Byrne of Byrne O’Donnell Scully Architects and Architectural Technicians in Ennis, County Clare, who says that in 1999, out of total frustration with how the planning system was working, he and some colleagues set up the ALG (Agents Liaison Group) so that private practitioners and council officials could meet from time to time to iron out problems and ensure a more efficient planning application system. It was, Tom tells me, lauded by the Minister of the time (Noel Dempsey, I think) as a ‘model’ to be copied elsewhere. But, Tom continues.
3 Apr 2007
Hi guys. As entertaining and all as I like to think it they might be, I can understand how some of you might not manage to read the Dispatch from cover to cover (my own wife, for example, would rather be stung by bees). If you happen to be in this minority, I encourage you to at least read the bit where I’m thinking of standing in the next general election on a ‘planning’ ticket. Yep, you read that correctly. And you might find my letter to Minister Dick Roche, the text of which I’ve included, of some interest to you as well. I’m saying all this because my opening piece this week isn’t as flippant as I usually like it to be. So here goes.