Press Release: Planners declare West Cork Distillers’ warehousing plans invalid
By Calvin Jones on August 27, 2021
27/08/2021, Tullig and Reenascreena: For immediate release
C. 500 words
In a dramatic twist to a planning battle between residents of a rural West Cork community and West Cork Distillers, Cork County Council has declared the drinks company’s planning application invalid.
Residents who submitted objections to the plans received letters from the County Council yesterday (26/08) informing them of the declaration. The letters stated:
“In Accordance with Article 26 of the Planning and Development Regulation, 2001, (as amended), the above application has been declared invalid and cannot be considered by the planning authority.”
According to the West Cork Planning Office, the Council has returned the entire application file to West Cork Distillers, along with their original planning fee, and planning application 21/458 is no longer active. Should West Cork Distillers wish to proceed with their proposed development they will need to submit a new application from scratch.
Residents from Tullig and Reenascreena welcomed the development, but remain sceptical about West Cork Distillers’ intentions.
“Anything that hinders this inappropriate industrial development is good news,” said local resident Calvin Jones, part of the recently formed Tullig and Reenascreena Community Group. “While we fully expect the company to resubmit its application, this pause gives West Cork Distillers’ board and investors an ideal opportunity to reconsider their position. We’re calling on them to take this chance to realign with their brand values, and demonstrate some of the respect for West Cork’s landscape, people and community their CEO insists is at the core of their business identity by pursuing this industrial warehousing development in a more appropriate location.”
Whatever West Cork Distillers decides, the community is ready to continue the fight if necessary. Forewarned, with local coordination, online platforms (savetullig.com / @SaveTullig) and media contacts already in place, and a growing groundswell of public opinion behind them, the community feels confident it is in a strong position to face whatever challenges West Cork Distillers throws their way.
“This changes nothing,” said engineer Niall Dignan, a Tullig resident and producer of West Cork Honey. “It’s a calculated strategy. I assume West Cork Distillers knew there was an issue with their application when they submitted it. It allows them to see the submissions and gauge opposition to their plans. They’ll use this opportunity to address issues raised and resubmit a revised version without losing their original application fee.
“In Gaelic football terms we’re only at the first water break. West Cork Distillers have picked up a tick, but no yellow card. The game is still very much on.”
The West Cork Planning Office was unable to provide Tullig and Reenascreena Community Group with their reasons for declaring the application invalid when contacted. “Whatever the discrepancy was, you have to wonder why it wasn’t flagged at pre-validation stage, before public submissions objecting to the plans went in,” said Jones.
The planning office confirmed that anyone who made a submission on the original planning application (2021/458) can either hold on to their receipt and use it in lieu of the €20 fee to make a new submission in person at the West Cork Planning Office in Skibbereen, or email [email protected] to request a refund of the original fee.
Calvin Jones is an author, freelance writer and naturalist who lives just down the road from the proposed development, in the adjacent townland of Clounkeen East. He is the founder of Ireland's Wildlife.
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