A €20 million film studio in Wexford has been given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála.
Tara Studios had to wait since early last year to find out if they would be successful in seeking approval for its plans to develop what it claims will be one of the largest film production facilities in Ireland at Borleagh Manor, around five kilometres outside Gorey.
The company, which was established by the former chief executive of Pinewood Studios, Ivan Dunleavey and film financier, John Gleeson, plans to construct seven sound stages, ten workshops and associated production facilities within the grounds of Borleagh Manor, a listed 19th century Georgian building on 160 acres of woodland.
Labour Party councillor George Lawlor said the approval, which was granted following objections due to the planned studios being in a rural area, was “great news for film production in Co Wexford”.
The development is expected to create up to 120 jobs during the construction phase and 30 permanent jobs when operational, as well as catering for up to 400 cast and film crew and 200 extras.
The project has received strong support from community groups in the nearby village of Killanerin, in addition to local councillors.
Wexford County Council said the project represented a significant investment for the north of the county which would have positive implications for the local economy in terms of employment, hospitality and tourism.
Council planners have sought a contribution from Tara Studios of over €136,000 towards the cost of upgrading the local road network to address concerns raised by local residents about the impact of additional traffic generated by the project as a condition of the planning permission.
However, the objection lodged against the plans for the film studios claim it represents an opportunistic and inappropriate development in an area that was unsuitable for such a facility.
It was originally hoped the studios could be operational by the first half of this year.
It is understood that Tara Studios paid around €3 million to buy Borleagh Manor, which was previously the home of actor Richard Greene who starred in the TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood.