Film studio proposal rejected by council

A meeting of Wicklow County Council finished tonight after council members dealt with eight of 17 controversial rezoning decisions made last July.

A meeting of Wicklow County Council finished tonight after council members dealt with eight of 17 controversial rezoning decisions made last July.

A proposal to rezone 60 acres of land in East Wicklow for a huge film studio was voted down but may come before the Council again in a different form.

Councillors had previously rezoned 172 acres near Ashford because of suggestions that Ardmore Film Studios was intending to move.

However, Ardmore later declared they had no such intention.

Of today’s 17 decisions – made in July against planning advice – only two proposals were cancelled. The other six either passed in full, modified or withdrawn.

The 24-member council is due to resume discussions on the remaining nine decisions on November 1.

Green Party councillor Deirdre De Burca said afterwards: “We had a long but a very good meeting.

“As far as planning in Wicklow is concerned, we are a lot better today than we were after the meeting in July.”

County Manager Eddie Sheehy commented: “We got through our business and modified some of the proposals. It was democracy in action.”

The council meeting was earlier suspended for a time after it emerged that Cllr De Burca was tape-recording the meeting without permission.

Cllr De Burca told the meeting she was doing it for her own protection after several intimidating meetings in which she was called a “pathological liar“.

She claimed she did not realise it was against Standing Orders to record without permission.

Fianna Fáil councillors described her actions as “appalling and absolutely reprehensible“.

The tape recording device was handed over to the councillors' caretaker and the meeting continued after several minutes of heated exchanges.

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