Changes to be made to Traveller accommodation plan

AMENDMENTS will be made to the Traveller Accommodation programme 2009 - 2013 which will see a reduction in the number of accommodation units to be provided in Tullamore.

AMENDMENTS will be made to the Traveller Accommodation programme 2009 - 2013 which will see a reduction in the number of accommodation units to be provided in Tullamore.

Dermot Mahon, Offaly County Council, outlined a number of proposed amendments to the Traveller Accommodation Programme 2009-2013. It is proposed to amend the target date for the completion of a 4 unit group housing scheme from 2011 to 2013 in Birr.

According to the draft mid term review, a number of potential sites for group housing have been identified in the Birr and consultation has commenced with the families on Millbrook Park halting site who wish to move to group housing. However, the site selection process has been difficult to date resulting in target for completion being extended to 2013.

It is proposed to reduce the target of 20 units of traveller specific accommodation in the Tullamore environs to seven units due to a number of factors.

There have been changes to the number of families originally included under the Housing Needs Assessment [HNA] 2009. Some of the families included under the original HNA have since moved to other counties.

There has been lower then anticipated demand for halting site or group housing in the Tullamore environs. Under the HNA, carried out in March 2011, a total of four families have been approved for halting site or group housing in Tullamore. Despite the combined efforts of the LTACC, the Traveller social worker and Tullamore Traveller Movement, there has been no significant increase in the demand to date.

There are currently 7 vacant bays on Kilcruttin’s permanent halting site which will be allocated to suitable families in housing need once repair works have been completed and funding approval has been granted by the Department to carry out the works.

Fine Gael councillor, Molly Buckley proposed the draft review with the amendments.