An Taisce has lost its application for leave to appeal against the High Court decision which dismissed a challenge against the An Bord Pleanála ruling to grant planning permission for the Glanbia and Royal A-Ware’s cheese processing plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny.
The final option open to An Taisce now is to take the case to the Supreme Court following Friday mornings High Court appeal rejection.
The Glanbia and Royal A-Ware project was designed as a response to the challenges from Brexit and the need for the dairy sector to diversify its products.
IFA president Tim Cullinan has said the cheese plant should proceed without delay.
“The decision not to allow a further hearing of An Taisce’s objection to the Glanbia cheese plant is the fourth time the project has been upheld,” Cullinan said.
Objecting for the sake of it is an abuse of the system
“An Taisce has a prescribed role in the planning system, but they also have a duty to act responsibly. On each occasion, the process has found everything is in order. Objecting for the sake of it is an abuse of the system.
“As the most exposed sector in the country, it’s reckless of any organisation to obstruct a valid initiative that is designed to safeguard the livelihoods of farm families and the rural economy in the southeast.”
ICOS president Jerry Long said the decision gives certainty to Glanbia, and to dairy farmers so that they can plan their businesses, and continue to diversify post Brexit.
“The industry has much work to do to support the sustainability of the rural economy, as well as to demonstrate and build on our credentials as producers of high-quality, grass-fed sustainable dairy products.”
Enough is enough
Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has described Friday’s ruling as “a victory for common sense”.
“This planning application has been granted by both Kilkenny County Council and An Bord Pleanála. It has now been tested twice in the High Court. Enough is enough, it is time to get it built,” Kelleher said.
Dairy farmers were facing significant financial losses if this facility was not given the go ahead
“From the outset, I believed An Taisce’s case was weak. They were attempting to use the planning system to change government policy. I’ve no issue with NGOs articulating and campaigning for changes in policy. It just shouldn’t be done through the planning system.
“What now must happen is that the company is let build the facility. Dairy farmers were facing significant financial losses if this facility was not given the go ahead as many had invested in increasing their dairy herd to meet the production requirements of this new facility.”