Cut in number of homes planned for Ukrainian refugees
The number of homes planned to house Ukrainians in Cavan Town has been halved.
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is coordinating the plans in conjunction with the Office of Public Works.
A publicly owned site on the Farnham Road is earmarked for the modular houses, with planning continuing.
It comes as the Taoiseach says pressure on services due to the number of Ukrainian refugees being housed locally is “interim” but the measures in place are only “temporary”.
Addressing questions on a visit to Cavan over the systems in place as part of the country’s response to the refugee crisis, he said he understands the “obvious pressures” facing the country.
GP surgeries and schools in particular have come under increasing pressure since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
Director of Schools with CMETB Paddy Flood said every Ukrainian student living in Cavan and Monaghan had been given a school place. However, updating members of the board at their regular meeting, he admitted the process had been “strained”.
Problems with school buses and a lack of places, compounded by the cutting of passenger fees with no increase in capacity, has also been highlighted locally.
On a visit to Cavan, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he understood the frustrations of people in this area who are being faced with increasing pressure on necessary services.
“It’s a war situation first of all. It’s the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II on the continent of Europe. This is a temporary situation.
“We’re not experiencing the same kind of pressure as countries closer to Ukraine are. I’m very conscious of the pressures on local communities but this is very much seen as an interim response to the crisis in Ukraine.”
Concerns are compounded at the loss of businesses and services as the majority of refugees are being housed in hotels and guesthouses.
Work is continuing on the design and pre-planning processes for the modular homes in Cavan town. However, it’s not yet known when the houses are likely to be built. However, under an EU directive, given the exceptional circumstances it’s understood the usual lengthy planning process can be circumvented.
A spokesperson for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth says 30 homes are now planned, down from the 60 originally mooted.
“All modular sites will have roads, footpaths, street lighting and community facilities, including a playground and green spaces fully in line with Local Authority planning guidance. “The modular homes will be highly energy efficient, durable units with a 60 year lifespan and the development of the sites will be conducted in an environmentally sustainable way to ensure that, post development, the site will enhance the local area.”
The Department also addressed concerns over pressure on health and school services, with it confirming: “The HSE has been notified of the proposed number of residents for each site and associated potential healthcare needs. The Department of Education is planning for the extra school places that may be needed. If the local school does not have enough places, alternative arrangements will be made to bring occupant children to schools close by.”
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