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An action group said it has postponed the demonstration because it is meeting minister Roderic O'Gorman. PA

Kildare protest against housing for Ukrainians postponed as group to meet minister

A local group said it has a range of issues with plans for modular homes in Newbridge.

A PROTEST AGAINST emergency housing for Ukrainians in Co Kildare, has been postponed as members of a local campaign group plan to meet integration minister Roderic O’Gorman.

A group of local residents from the Lakeside Park/Highfield/Dara Park area of Newbridge planned to stage the demonstration to voice their opposition to 30 modular homes being constructed to house people fleeing Russia’s invasion.

The LHD Action Group said it has a range of issues with the planned homes, including a lack of consultation from public bodies, infrastructure and amenity problems and potential home value depreciation.

The group, which organised the protest, said it was postponed as they have been informed that they will be meeting with Minister O’Gorman on Tuesday to express their concerns about the plans.

“We have been given assurances from the Minister that no construction works will take place in the interim. We welcome the commitment from the minister to engage with the LHD Action Group. We are hopeful for a successful outcome,” a statement from the group said.

Kildare County Council said that modular housing is one element of the Government’s response to providing accommodation for displaced people from Ukraine.

“In this regard, earlier in the year local authorities were asked to ‘identify sites that may be suitable for the immediate development of temporary or permanent housing, and which have not already been earmarked for social and affordable housing under Housing for All’”, the council said in a statement.

It added that access to services – including water, electricity, digital infrastructure and telecoms – and the size and scale of the potential settlement were the main criteria to be considered in the identification of sites.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) said five sites have been identified for the first phase of construction of modular housing units.

Two of the sites are in Kildare –in Newbridge and Rathangan– and there are one each in Cork, Tipperary and Cavan. The OPW said there is the capacity for the installation of the first 200 units before the end of the year.

A second tranche of sites is set to be finalised over the next few weeks following completion of further suitability assessment work on them.

“The Office of Public Works is managing the complex programme of works necessary to ensure that the installation of modular units can commence before the end of the year,” the OPW said in a statement.

“Site enabling works and the manufacture of volumetric modular units, to the standard set by the OPW, will be conducted simultaneously during the coming months so that the units will be ready for delivery and installation as site works are completed,” it added.

Céimin Burke and Eoghan Dalton