THE families living at Spring Lane halting site in Ballyvolane are angry that they have not received more information about plans to accommodate them.
In a letter to the Evening Echo, the families say they were shocked to read on last Wednesday’s Evening Echo that the halting site could be closed in 2020.
The letter said: “As residents, we are aware that the city council is working on a plan to develop new accommodation for our families, who have lived on this run down and overcrowded site all our lives. There is no doubt that better accommodation is needed but we have received very little information about this so far, apart from one short meeting last year, which left us with many questions and no follow up.”
The letter added: “Some families living on this site require standard council housing and others require Traveller accommodation where we can remain with our families as smaller groups. It was shocking for us to read the article about our site being closed down by March 2020 when we are still without information or clear plans that alternative accommodation that will suit our families’ needs will be built by then."
"Families are frustrated at the lack of progress and broken promises over the years. Discussions with us and information on our future accommodation should take place before any plans to close the site.”
The families said they are “ready and waiting” for a place at the “decision-making table” in relation to the future accommodation for residents of the site.
There are plans underway to provide alternative accommodation to the almost 150 residents living on the site.
While it is not yet concrete that the halting site will close in 2020, it is understood that an interagency group working to tackle the Spring Lane site accommodation issue is working towards ensuring its closure.
It is understood that it is proposed that the families on the site could be accommodated in group housing schemes, dedicated halting site accommodation and social housing.
The site was opened as an emergency measure almost three decades ago, for 10 families.
However, there are now 35 families living there on ten bays – with poor electrical connections, flooding issues, lack of toilet facilities and a potholed road network being among the primary concerns of residents and Traveller advocacy groups.