The deadline for observations on the Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme, which includes a proposal to build traveller accommodation in Ellis’s Yard, is closing this Sunday.
The draft project has divided opinion among local residents and politicians with many for and against the extension to the traveller site, Spring Lane.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry and councillor Fiona Ryan released a statement saying they were in favour of the plan and outlined a number of reasons for their support.
Ms Ryan said: “There are currently more than 40 families living on site at Spring Lane in a space created originally for 10 families.
“Those living unofficially on the site are the sons, daughters and grandsons and granddaughters of the original families and they are living unofficially on site because the Council has consistently failed to provide them with suitable alternative accommodation.
“The Plan proposes to house a minority of these families who are currently living unofficially at Spring Lane in the new scheme.”
Following on from this, Mr Barry said: “Spring Lane has become overcrowded as a result of central government and Cork City Council’s inaction on housing and the state’s systematic neglect of the Travelling Community. Due to discriminatory barriers that exist for the Travelling community in accessing private rental accommodation, the state’s refusal to build public housing has had a disproportionate impact on the Traveller community.”
Local Labour Councillor and Ballyvolane resident John Maher told The Echo he has lodged a submission opposing the expansion of the traveller’s site.
“There has been no consultation with the local community,” Mr Maher said. “If it was a football pitch I would be saying the same.”
Mr Maher also said we need to learn from the mistakes of the past and realise that mixed housing schemes are of more benefit to communities than isolated estates of social, traveller, private and affordable.
The Labour Councillor also said he did not trust Cork City Council to manage the site correctly.
“I have submitted an observation as a resident first and I would say to any politician endorsing the project to knock on the doors of Ballyvolane and understand the realities of living in the area.”
The deadline for submissions is 4pm on June 30. You can submit any observations you have on the proposed plan for traveller housing in Ellis Yard to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can write a letter it can be sent to the following address: Traveller Accommodation Unit, Cork City Council, City Hall, Cork.