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Friday 19 January 2018

Plans for traveller accommodation in South Dublin 'grossly exaggerated'

An aerial view of Mount Anville Road
An aerial view of Mount Anville Road
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Reports of advanced plans for traveller accommodation in one of Ireland's wealthiest areas have today been quashed as 'grossly exaggerated'.

It has been reported that plans for construction of traveller accommodation on Mount Anville Road in Mount Merrion has developed significantly.

But Labour Party Councillor Dr Richard Humphreys of Stillorgan, has today hit back at the suggestion that the decision process has advanced in any way.

"That story is pretty sensationalised," he told Independent.ie this morning.

"There is no significant change in the traveller accommodation plan. The current situation is that the previous plan, which was passed five years ago, provided the Mount Anville site would be a potential site for the group housing."

The site is partly vacant as half of it is occupied by the parks department of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, has been listed as one of 11 potential sites for traveller accommodation since 1985.

"It would be five houses planned for traveller accommodation, it was never going to be a halting site," Dr Humphreys added.

"The site just continues on the current status of the next five year plan."

The initial draft proposal is available for public view on the Dun Laoghaire/Rahtdown County Council website and will be put forward for final revision in January 2014. Any submissions to the proposal must be made before December 22nd.

"The draft has been published and I expect it to come to the council in January. It's currently at submission stage," he added.

"There's no real change in the status of Mount Anville site. It was on a list of potential sites before, it's still on a still on a list.

"Whether or not it happens or not, is the role of the county manager. As far as I'm aware there's been no decision on that.

"I'd be somewhat concerned about local councillors who inflate fear about traveller accommodation before an election."

Director of Housing for Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Tom McHugh added:  "At the moment, that site is an objective in our development plans and traveller accommodation plans to provide on that site. That's designated to that site, and has been for the last several development plans.

"It's a long-standing objective.

"The site is currently in use as a council depot; part of the site is now vacant, but the site itself isn't. It's in occupation by our parks staff.

"The situation hasn't changed. We haven't progressed any further."

Fine Gael Councillor John Bailey of Dun Laoghaoire also confirmed that the plans have been in plans for some time, but no new developments have been made.

"Every year, throughout the country, areas have to take so many traveller sites, that's part of the 2010-2016 development plan," he said.

"Every year, there's a certain amount allocated and Mount Merrion is the very same.

"At the same time, we're doing a housing programme trying to house as many people as we can."

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