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Work starts on Traveller housing scheme in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Work starts on Traveller housing scheme in Galway Work starts on Traveller housing scheme in Galway

Ground clearance work has begun in preparation for the construction of five new Traveller-specific accommodation units on Circular Road.

The houses – on the three-quarter acre site of the former Traveller hardstand beside Carn Ard – are expected to be completed before the end of next year.

The ‘culturally appropriate Traveller group housing scheme’ is being delivered at a cost of around €1.6 million by Galway City Council and Cena, the Traveller Housing Association.

An architect’s sketch of one of the new houses.

It involves the provision of 3 three-bed; 1 four-bed and 1 two-bed dwelling.

“The units and their situation on this site have been designed to allow integration of the Travelling families into the neighbourhood – but not assimilation – allowing a positive expression of a distinct culture and identity,” according to a City Council architect’s report.

“The units have been designed with kitchen and living spaces combined into an open-plan arrangement, facing east into the rear courtyard area. The ‘L’ shaped plan allows the living area to also face west, overlooking the entrance and parking area.

“To further emphasise the primacy of the outdoor culture, a covered veranda has been proposed. Constructed of simple material and clad in a basic sinusoidal metal panel, it extends the living space externally into the courtyard. The space to the front is minimised, with adequate parking for a car or van.

“The emphasis of the planning strategy was on successful integration of the scheme and families into the surrounding neighbourhood, as opposed to assimilation of the scheme and families into the general population and general housing stock.

“The houses, arranged in a semi-circular arc, with the tall gables facing onto a shared green space, will be reminiscent of a camp with wagons facing onto a green.

“Additional boundary planting of selected native species and improved landscaping to the north of the site and along the ‘internal street’ will help improve the existing green space amenity,” the Council said.

One of the features of the development will be a tree-lined landscaped public open space while each dwelling will have a rear yard/social space area as well as parking for one vehicle per unit.

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