A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No. 59.
Kitchin, Rob and Gleeson, Justin and Keaveney, Karen and O'Callaghan, Cian (2010) A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland (NIRSA) Working Paper Series. No. 59. NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.
In this working paper, we examine the creation of ‘a haunted landscape’ – the recent boom and the bust of the Irish housing market, and the creation of a new phenomenon, ‘ghost estates’. We draw on and analyze numerous different government and industry datasets to provide a rigorous evidence base for our conclusions. What the data reveal is a pattern of development that ran counter to what one would have expected or hoped for - those local authorities that had the most vacant stock in 2006, subsequently built the most new housing, now have the highest surpluses of stock, and have the most land zoned for future use. Essentially, a number of local authorities did not heed good planning guidelines and regional and national objectives; conduct sensible demographic profiling of potential demand; or take account of the fact that much of the land zoned lacks essential services such as water and sewerage treatment plants, energy supply, public transport or roads. Instead, permissions and zoning have been facilitated by the abandonment of basic planning principles by elected representatives on the local and national stage and driven by the demands of local people, developers and speculators, and ambitious, localised growth plans framed within a zero-sum game of potentially being left behind with respect to development. Further, central government not only failed to adequately oversee, regulate and direct local planning, but actively encouraged its excesses through tax incentive schemes and the flaunting of its own principles as set out in the National Spatial Strategy through policies such as decentralisation.
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