Senator Sharon Keogan ‘100% against’ Direct Provision housing for refugees
Plans have been submitted for the construction of almost 570 temporary homes in East Meath to house Ukrainian refugees.
The site notice was erected on Wednesday in Laytown area pertaining to temporary planning permission for five years, for the development of an emergency temporary accommodation campsite on 15.8 hectares close to Laytown train station, west of the railway bridge at Ninch.
The development is set to consist of 569 two-bedroom single-story homes as well as a playground and car parking spaces.
The homes are said to accommodate over 2,000 refugees from the conflict in Ukraine.
East Meath Cllr Sharon Tolan took to her social media accounts to address the issue, after several community groups expressed concern.
“This site is zoned for employment use, and I am committed to ensuring that is what this land will be used for,” she said on Facebook.
“The landowners, who have also confirmed their commitment to creating employment on this site, have made a proposal to provide accommodation during this Ukrainian crisis for a temporary period of five years.
“I ask people to be mindful and respectful in your public commentary, for distraught and traumatised Ukrainians that we have welcomed to East Meath since the war began.”
Meanwhile Independent Senator Sharon Keogan says she is ‘100% against the development of any more Direct Provision style housing/camps in this country’, and will hold a public meeting about the matter in the coming weeks.
“This development in Laytown is high density, where approximately 2,300 Ukrainians will be housed. Is it right that the 700 Refugees in Mosney will be treated differently with their housing need, while these units get thrown up for Ukrainians,” she stated. ”The government is prepared to put all resources into housing refugees and yet discriminates in finding resources or solutions for our homeless, those on the social housing waiting list or even those seeking affordable housing”.
She agreed solutions long term need to be found to house those fleeing Ukraine, but ‘we cannot step on or over our own to house another’.
“It's temporary planning for five years, but I've seen temporary legislation before and nothing is ever temporary,” adds Senator Keogan. “We must find another way of dealing with this crisis. Alternatively, we need to reflect on our over commitment in delivering the impossible.”