THE High Court has granted anti-plastics campaigning group Save Our Skibbereen (SOS) permission to seek a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s (ABP) decision to approve planning permission for the construction of a plastics factory in the town.
Fiona Vincent, co-ordinator of Save Our Skibbereen, said Mr Justice Seamus Noonan granted the organisation leave to bring the judicial review proceedings at a sitting of the High Court in Dublin on Monday last. She said: ‘The High Court will now notify An Bord Pleanála of the decision and ABP will be given an opportunity to respond at the next court date, on March 12th next.’
She said: ‘ABP’s response will determine what will happen next. If they say they are going to fight this in court, we will be given another date at which we will be allowed to make our case.’
ABP’s decision – to uphold Cork County Council’s decision to grant planning permission – did not follow its own inspector’s recommendation that planning be refused.
Although the sum of €15,000 – for the first phase of what could be a protracted legal battle – was raised locally within a four-week period over Christmas, Ms Vincent confirmed that more money will now be needed, because once it proceeds to a judicial review, the process will become much more expensive. ‘However, we cannot comment on that until we see how An Bord Pleanála responds,’ she added.
The High Court application is ultimately seeking to prevent the building of a customised thermoplastic compounding factory at Poundlick, Skibbereen.
The co-ordinator said she believes the campaign has ‘brought the community together and has encouraged people to consider what we actually want for Skibbereen and West Cork.’
The Southern Star contacted RTP, the parent company of Daly Products Ltd – the company given permission to build the factory – but the company spokesman did not respond.