The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has called for changes to a proposed bill on planning in relation to accommodation for the Travelling community. In a statement, the commission said that the State “continues to fail” in the provision of accommodation to the Traveller community, describing the current system as “incoherent and inadequate”. In a submission on the Planning and Development Bill 2022, the human-rights body calls for an amendment to put Traveller-specific accommodation in an exceptional category. It points out that the vast majority of Traveller-specific accommodation is currently delivered through part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, “ostensibly to assist public debate and scrutiny”. “However, this often gives rise to significant challenges in terms of providing Traveller-specific accommodation, often due to local opposition and the consequent politicisation of the process,” the commission says. Its proposed amendment would mean that Traveller accommodation would not be exempted from the need to be approved by An Coimisiùn Pleanála and could, therefore, be removed from the part 8 process.
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