Cork County Council has confirmed a planning application from West Cork Distillers for a large industrial warehousing complex in the heart of the West Cork countryside has been deemed “invalid”.
The local authority said the development would have required the submission of a mandatory environmental impact assessment report and for this reason was deemed invalid.
The news was welcomed by residents of Tullig and Reenascreena, who are calling on the company to “be true to its West Cork heritage and values” by dropping its “inappropriate planning application and building their industrial warehousing complex in a more suitable, industrially zoned location”. The planning application was for a 16-warehouse maturation facility on an unzoned greenfield site in Tullig. Covering 24,280 sq m, the development would store 240,000 casks of maturing spirit.
Locals claim the development would “irrevocably alter the landscape and undermine the fabric of their rural community”.
“It’s a completely inappropriate development for the location,” said local resident Calvin Jones, whose house sits on a sharp bend along the route that articulated HGVs would take to and from the proposed site.
“There are so many reasons a development like this just doesn’t belong here: The unsuitability of the local road network, the unquestionable visual impact, the impact on local wildlife and biodiversity, the inappropriate change in land use, not to mention the short-, medium-, and long-term impact on the local community.”
An online petition denouncing the plans attracted 900 signatures in two weeks, and 121 local residents signed a comprehensive group submission to Cork County Council objecting to the proposal. Residents believe the planning will be resubmitted.
Mr Jones added: “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.”