Monday 25 September 2017

Manic zoning cost us dearly

OVER the last couple of years, all of us have grown familiar with the gruesome story of the "ghost estates". Over the same period, it has been extremely difficult to quantify a more extraordinary story -- how it could have been much worse.

During the boom, the building frenzy affected more than bankers, developers, politicians and manic investors. It affected councillors. Estimates of their crazed activities have grown worse with time. The final figures procured by this newspaper are higher than anything previously feared.

The councillors rezoned an incredible 44,000 hectares of land -- equivalent to half the size of Co Louth -- in the last decade. This amounted to almost four times the official estimate for the quantity of land needed to meet the country's housing needs until 2016.

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