It is estimated that 57 Traveller families will require accommodation in South Tipperary over the coming five years, according to the draft Traveller Accommodation Programme 2014-2018.
The draft plan was approved at this month’s meeting of Clonmel Borough Council, which heard that of the 57, the Council proposes that 29 will be accommodated over the course of the plan.
Three submissions were received during the two-month public display period from November 2013 to Janaury 2014.
An annual count of Traveller families in South Tipperary last November found that there were 139 households, of which 50 are in permanent accommodation, 24 are living in Traveller-specific accommodation and 12 are living in unauthorised sites.
It was heard that there is a significant need for group housing, which can include a mixture of houses and halting bays, in Cashel, Cahir and Clonmel.
The Council estimates that 30 new Traveller families will be formed in South Tipperary in the duration of the plan. Their short-term housing need will be met through the private rented sector, while the permanent needs are assessed.
The previous Traveller Accommodation Programme 2009 - 2013 identified 51 accommodation units were needed in South Tipperary, and 29 households were catered for. The accommodation included four halting bays at Ballyknock in Cashel; two group houses and two halting bays at Waller’ Lot, also in Cashel.
This was the first time that a joint Traveller Accommodation Programme was drawn up for north and south Tipperary.
Cllr Darren Ryan said that any progress on Traveller accommodation is welcome but he said that he was concerned with Travellers’ horses, and control of such horses.
“On one hand we can work with people to ensure that are integrated but at the same time, there has to be respect, especially in housing estates, where horses are left to graze on the green areas. Maybe this can be looked at?” he said.