An Taisce has said it will seek leave to appeal last month’s High Court decision dismissing the group’s objections to the construction of Glanbia’s new cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny.

The group said it decided to pursue an appeal because of what it sees as the impact of intensive agriculture on the environment.

“Our concerns are increasingly underpinned by a series of reports from the Environmental Protection Agency and other authorities indicating the impacts of intensive agriculture on water and air quality and the increasing greenhouse gas emissions from that sector,” An Taisce said.

Glanbia Ireland said it noted, with disappointment, the An Taisce move. Its chief executive Jim Bergin said it was committed to bringing the project to fruition in conjunction with its partners, Royal A-ware.

This would be bad for farmers, bad for rural communities and could hurt Ireland’s reputation internationally

“This project, which is in line with Government policy, is critical to our market diversification post-Brexit, will support rural Ireland’s post-COVID-19 recovery and is of huge importance to the 4,500 farm families supplying milk to Glanbia Ireland,”Bergin said.

Glanbia Ireland chair John Murphy said the combined impact of An Taisce’s four consecutive challenges to this project has been a two-year delay.

“This latest proposed appeal could delay the project even further. This would be bad for farmers, bad for rural communities and could hurt Ireland’s reputation internationally as a location for much-needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),” he warned.

Timeline of Belview delay

  • November 2019: Kilkenny Council granted planning for the new cheese facility.
  • June 2020: An Bord Pleanála refused An Taisce appeal and granted permission.
  • April 2021: High Court upheld the planning approval granted by An Bord Pleanála.
  • July 2021: High Court refused An Taisce’s application for Leave to Appeal this decision to the Court of Appeal.