CORK City Council’s proposals to build houses for Travellers on the recently cleaned-up Ellis’s Yard site have been met with strong objections.
The council recently published a draft Traveller Accommodation Programme for 2019-2024. In the document, the city announced plans to submit a planning application for the development of houses at Ellis’s Yard, next to Spring Lane halting site, from July 1.
Ellis’s Yard has been the subject of illegal dumping for a number of years and was recently cleaned by the council at a cost of almost €100,000.
The council’s intention is to have planning secured by December and then look for funding in January 2020 from the Department of Planning, Housing and Local Government.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ken O’Flynn has written to the director of housing in City Hall, Brian Geaney, to voice his concerns regarding the plan.
In his letter, Mr O’Flynn said he “strongly objected” to the idea as the area is unsuitable for families to live in.
“It is down in a valley and not fit for purpose in the 21st century. It should be closed because of overcrowding and poor facilities on site.”
Mr O’Flynn said that Ellis’s Yard should be rezoned for sport and recreation uses and made available to community and sporting organisations in the surrounding area of Ballyvolane.
The local councillor also said that the families living on the Spring Lane halting site should be designated an area in the newly expanded city.
“Traveller families should be accommodated on a greenfield site with houses, caravan bays and grazing for animals.
“I propose that Cork City Council purchase a suitable site in the newly expanded area of the city to accommodate these families.”
Mr O’Flynn said he has also submitted a motion to council looking for the site to be closed and for the residents of the halting site to be rehoused.
“The site is not fit for man, woman, child or animal,” said Mr O’Flynn. “It is overcrowded and it doesn’t meet the Government guidelines, it needs to be closed.”
A meeting of residents and community and voluntary groups concerned with the proposed development of Ellis’s Yard has been arranged by the Ballyvolane Residents Association for Thursday, June 6, at 7pm, in the Glen Hurling Club.