Belfast Telegraph

It wasn’t planning that was problem here,Tom

By Robert McNeil

Tom King, former grand panjandrum of Northern Ireland, has described the place as a planning nightmare, and spoken of there being “a bungalow in every field”.

On southern England’s BBC Radio 4, he added: “They don’t believe in planning in Northern Ireland.”

Seems to me there was plenty of planning in Northern Ireland during his tenure — but it wasn’t much to do with housing. All the same, perhaps he has a point, though it isn’t just Northern Ireland that’s blighted bungalow-wise. The trouble with bungalows is that they’re quite comfortable.

I’d the misfortune to live for some years in a place that was similarly afflicted. Visitors expected to see wee white cottages. But, inside, wee white cottages were dark and difficult to heat comfortably (usually being too hot or too cold).

Unprepossessing bungalows, on the other hand, were internally light, airy and usually had panoramic windows — through which the residents could see the tourists pointing disappointedly.

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