In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas. My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authorities in providing such accommodation, including a national framework of policy, legislation and funding.
The content of local authority development plans is governed by Section 10 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) , which obliges plans to include objectives for, inter alia, the provision of accommodation for Travellers, and the use of particular areas for that purpose. Guidelines prepared by my Department to assist local authorities in the preparation of development plans state that the land-use aspects of adopted Traveller Accommodation Programmes should be reflected in the development plan. This should take the form of objectives that clearly set out the approach of the development plan in addressing the accommodation needs of Travellers and an indication of the specific locations of Traveller accommodation projects. The guidelines also advise that to support the identification of additional locations for such projects, zoning policies should be drawn up in a flexible manner to reflect the urgent need to secure additional Traveller accommodation over the lifetime of the development plan.