herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Opposition mounts against modular units for homeless

Sandra Devlin of Finglas Photo: Steve Humphreys
Sandra Devlin of Finglas Photo: Steve Humphreys

Opposition is mounting across Dublin to Government plans to build hundreds of modular homes for homeless families.

Legal challenges have been threatened over at least two sites and a number of residents groups have pledged to blockade locations where the units are due to be built.

At a public meeting last night, residents in Balbriggan pledged to fight proposals to place 40 units in the Pinewood Estate in the town which they argued is a "disproportionate" number of modular homes for the north Dublin town.

They are urging residents to submit objections on the plans.

They are just the latest community to voice their opposition to modular homes.

On Sunday residents staged a rally in Finglas against a plan for another 40 units at St Helena's Drive.

The Finglas Action Group is working to put together a legal challenge over the move.

"We will block the sites if we need to, we don't want to do it, we have to do it," one of the organisers Sandra Devlin said.

Meanwhile, in Drimnagh residents are also considering a legal challenge to plans for 29 prefabricated homes at a site on the Mourne Road.

Senior

They say the site is subject to a legal agreement that was signed when Dublin City Council purchased it, that stipulated it can only be used for housing for senior citizens.

A member of the Curlew Road Residents association told the Herald that they will also blockade the site in a bid to stop the modular units being built.

Residents believe that the site is unsuitable and should be used for housing elderly people.

They also don't think that modular homes are suitable for the families who will live in them.

"It will become a ghetto," a spokesperson claimed.

The modular homes initiative, spearheaded by Environment Minister Alan Kelly, has suffered a number of setbacks.

Plans to house 22 families in the prefab homes at Poppintree, Ballymun before Christmas were pushed back when separate protests on the site delayed work.

Locals who wanted a refund of €5,000 they had paid almost a decade ago for co-op housing due to built on the land picketed the site.

A separate group later allegedly threatened to burn out machinery on the site.

The delays mean the houses are still not complete.

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