Controversial Traveller transit site proposal withdrawn

June 1, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

A controversial proposal by the Housing Executive to construct a Traveller transit site on the Millvale Road outside Newry has been withdrawn, Councillor Pat McGinn has revealed.

Mr McGinn has previously criticised the Housing Executive for its lack of consultation with local people regarding the proposal seeking to construct eight pitches with associated service pods, caravan and car parking.  A site directly opposite the Eighteen Arches had been earmarked for the project.

The Councillor had voiced his objection to the proposal on the grounds that the Housing Executive did not properly consult with residents and businesses in the area.

Stating that it was ‘unfortunate’ the proposal ‘had to go as public as it did’, Mr McGinn said it was unacceptable that the Housing Executive did not engage in consultation with the community prior to proposing the application.

This was a totally inappropriate site for such a development, he said.

The Councillor says he will continue to work with the Housing Executive and all other appropriate agencies to help address the issue of Traveller accommodation.

“Travellers are one of the most socially excluded groups in the north of Ireland, suffering from a wide range of problems many of which can be attributed to their poor conditions,” he said.

“Housing Executive is responsible for the provision and management of Traveller accommodation including permanent and temporary sites and provision of effective support services which includes engagement with relevant bodies such as the Council and in  particular those responsible for health and education,” he added.