28 May 2007
Thanks to the nice people at the Sculpture Factory for inviting me to participate in the prestigious debate which forms part of their annual planning and architecture conference. Very exciting event it was too – huge attendance of prominent architects (I knew they had to be prominent because they all had shaven heads and little smig beards - and the men looked weird too), planners and politicians (Minister Mícheál Martin was there just before his re-election to Dáil Éireann was confirmed, to name-drop just one).
28 May 2007
Until recently I had no idea that long before I’d even thought of putting out the Dispatch, the architectural community of County Clare had banded together to fight the good fight against the local authority. The following is a letter composed by Tom Byrne but signed by just about everyone who is anyone in the Ennis building game on behalf of an organisation called the Agents Liaison Group which was initially formed to improve relations, smooth out procedures, etc., between architects and local authority officials. I needn’t say more – the letter explains it all.
28 May 2007
he great pleasure of spending the best part of my time since the last Dispatch travelling around the United States. It was all part of a television series called Ultimate House which I'm presenting and which will be broadcast on the Discovery Network later this year.
28 May 2007
Do you know the way sometimes things are going well for you and you just want to smugly spread the news of your good fortune to a captive audience without their interrupting you with their dull contributions? Well that’s the way I’m feeling this week. So with the exception of Tom Byrne’s commentary (which I’m only including because I promised I would in the last Dispatch) this week is all about me, my views and what I think about everyone else. Some excellent stuff on a total redesign for Waterford City, some dodgy requests for ‘clarifications’ from confused planners, refusals by local authorities to grant pre-planning consultations, etc., will have to wait till next time.
28 May 2007
TREVOR SARGENT'S ALL IN ONE PLAN TO DEAL WITH URBAN SPRAWL AND SOLVE THE NATION'S TRANSPORTATION PROBLEM IS EXCLUSIVELY REVEALED...
28 May 2007
I intend to be extremely rude to the next person who feigns excitement over the media coverage given to the endless announcements of the results of the hand counted votes in the recent general election as if they somehow demonstrated that we live in a robust democracy. Live coverage of election counts are no more a reflection of the health of Irish democracy than the voting in the European Song Contest is a reflection on the success of the European Union. As television viewing experiences, they have a lot in common: fun at first, then boring and quite obviously pointless.
5 May 2007

Many thanks to The Irish Rural Dwellers Association for inviting me down to their conference in Killarney last week. One of the most interesting discussions about planning in Ireland I’ve participated in in ages. Well… weeks – I was also lucky enough to speak at a planning related conference at WIT organised by the head of the architecture school there, Maire Henry. It, too, was fantastic. 

Haven’t had much of a chance to review the planning/environmental policies put out by the major parties in advance of the election. But I refer you back to Dispatch No 1 which had a piece about a PD paper on Rural Dwellings which includes the ludicrous suggestion that Local Authorities publish a ‘rate your architect’ thing based on planning success rates. The rest of the document is poor too. 

This week’s competition is after the click

http://labs.jphantom.com/wpm/ 

The winner gets this: 

A UV tattoo. 

(Seriously. Does anyone know where you can get this done? I was thinking of having invisible abs tattooed onto my stomach before my summer holidays so that under the UV lights of the Ibiza dance clubs it would give me a bit more, eh… ‘definition’.

We’ll keep this one amongst ourselves, okay?)

5 May 2007
Philip Culhane, owner of No 4, The Crescent, gives his own account of the stresses and frustrations of going through the planning process with a your Protected Structure.
5 May 2007
ICOMOS, the Irish Georgian Society and Limerick City Council are holding a conference at City Hall Limerick on May 10th entitled LIMERICK CITY: HERITAGE & REGENERATION. Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend which I’m a little annoyed with myself about because planning and development in the Georgian area of Limerick is something I’m particularly interested in.
5 May 2007
We finally have an outright winner in the ‘Invalidation’ competition we started a few weeks ago. It’s from Colm in Galway.
5 May 2007
No, I won’t be running in this general election on the planning issue because I don’t have enough time to put a campaign together by the end of May. For some reason I had convinced myself that the election wouldn’t be held until July 4th in which case I’m 90% sure I would have had a go. more...
5 May 2007
But first, ‘the best, the most skillful, the most devious and the most cunning of them all’ surprised the nation by calling a general election last Sunday morning. But, contrary to what they’d have you believe, it had nothing whatsoever to do with some silly payment of £30,000 to Celia Larkin in prehistoric times. I can exclusively reveal that the real reason was much more sinister and devious than any of the polcors and hacks have yet to sniff out.