Concern as key Goatstown site excluded from TAP

by Gary Ibbotson

A new draft of the proposed Traveller Accommodation Programme (TAP) has been announced by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Contained in the plan is the removal of one of the largest public sites in the area earmarked to develop new traveller accommodation.

The Mount Anville site in Goatstown is a former works depot of the council and it is currently zoned as an MTC (Mixed Town Centre).

According to local People Before Profit councillor Hugh Lewis: “It has the potential to develop a significant amount of social, affordable and Traveller specific accommodation.”

“The decision by the council executive to remove the Mt Anville site from the proposed new plan is hugely disappointing.”

“The site is one of the largest in the county and unique in its potential to develop desperately needed social and affordable homes,” says Lewis.

In the draft, the programme outlines that 50 units of accommodation are needed for the coming years which will be made available and “be achieved by refurbishing existing vacant units, construction of new units, casual vacancies and standard social housing units,” according to the report.

Director of Southside Travellers Action Group, Geraldine Dunne, says that the group welcomes the report and “is pleased that Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council plans to build more units on existing Traveller sites has specified time frames for their delivery.

“However, we are seriously concerned that council-owned land at Mount Anville in Goatstown, earmarked for the last decade for Traveller accommodation, is absent from the new draft plan,” she says.

“Furthermore, there is no time frame specified for building 28 of the new homes on six sites planned in the TAP, two of which – at Pottery Road and Cloragh – are owned by the council.”

There are currently 39 Traveller families without permanent accommodation living in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, eight of whom are homeless, 18 sharing accommodation, nine on unauthorised sites and three in temporary bays provided by the council.

It’s estimated that 50 families will need new homes in the next five years.

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