LORD David Puttnam has said that more questions need to be asked about Cork County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for a new plastics factory in Skibbereen.
Lord Puttnam, who lives locally, has publicly lent his support to a campaign against the Council’s decision to grant Daly Products planning permission to build a new factory at Poundlick on the Baltimore Road.
He said he was aware that an appeal against the Council’s decision has been lodged with An Bord Pleanala, and he said it is his belief that there are ‘serious questions that don’t appear to have been asked, or answered.
‘As someone who has only very recently come to understand this issue – literally as of last Friday – and having gone through all the documentation,’ Lord Puttnam said, ‘the most important thing is all the questions that need to be asked are being asked, and answered fully, because there are potentially some very serious issues here.
‘Amongst those issues are the fact that there was no environmental impact study done, which is, in my judgement, potentially irresponsible on the part of the Council.
‘I think to deal with a relatively environmentally sensitive area like this without an environmental impact study is positively a 1950s way of proceeding – it certainly isn’t a 2020s way of proceeding. I am not an expert about the EU Emissions Directive,’ added Lord Puttnam, ‘but I think there is a reasonable expectation that the Council would do everything it needs to do to protect local citizens.
‘There is something called the Aarhus Convention [relating to access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental issues in the EU] which is very clear on this. And I am concerned that the Council may have overlooked this directive.’
‘The primary consideration must be the safety and security of local residents. That is the overwhelming responsibility for any Council anywhere in Europe,’ he added.
Having read through all of the documentation, Lord Puttnam said: ‘I have seen nothing that takes into account the fact that the prevailing wind crossing that site runs directly into the site of the local schools. That should be of real concern to the parents of kids in those schools.’