It has been a busy year. The total number of planning and planning-related stories included this year - to date - was 1550. The boom years may be at an end, but planning remains as topical as ever.
I thought before the year ends I might jot down a few notes about the blog and hopefully encourage you to continue to use it as a resource.
As you know, I have tried to ensure the blog acts as an up to date information resource for planners - students, council planners and private planners – and anyone else who is interested, throughout the country. The blog contains planning and planning related stories produced by journalists and others published in various media. The site is mainly concerned with planning issues of national interest, but has covered smaller more localised stories from time to time.
In recent times, I have become more aware that the blog also acts as a diary for planning and planning related stories. It is easy to search the blog for all stories on a particular issue such as the Corrib gas project or the battle for Ballsbridge. It can also be used to search by county, so whether you are a Fingal planner or a Wicklow planner, it can give you the stories relevant to you. It is this, perhaps more than any other function, which is now helping with my own work. It has become a reference tool.
Interestingly, the site has gradually attracted more and more people interested in planning issues. I now receive emails from people all over the country and from other countries (not from small children looking for presents). People want, among other things, more detail on stories, to ask questions about studying planning or working in planning, to discuss similar planning issues in their own counties/countries, etc. I try where possible to respond to these queries.
As always, I also receive emails from individuals, groups and others seeking help with planning issues. Again, I try to provide some advice, but I note that, as this is how I also make my living, I cannot spend all the time I might like on each of these emails. To those I have responded to, I hope it was adequate and helped in some way. I hope people will continue to email me with queries on planning matters.
Finally, no one knows what 2009 will bring, but it is certain to bring new planning stories to our attention and I will continue to make these available in an easy and accessible way.
Enjoy the Christmas,