There are concerns that the Glanbia/Royal A-ware cheese plant planned for Belview has parallels with the Apple plant in Athenry.

Apple pulled out of the plans to develop an €850m centre in the Galway town after three years of planning delays.

The Glanbia project is currently subject to a judicial review, almost 18 months after planning was granted by Kilkenny County Council, and over two years since the project was announced.


An Taisce is primarily objecting on the grounds that An Bord Pleanála did not properly consider the environmental impact of the increased milk production required to service the plant.

While there is no suggestion as yet that Royal A-ware is losing patience, the process could have a number of steps before planning is confirmed.

Apple announced its Athenry plans in February 2015, and received planning approval from Galway County Council that November. This was appealed to An Bord Pleanála, which approved planning in May 2016.

This was appealed to the High Court, which in November 2017 rejected the appeal.

The objectors then proceeded to the Supreme Court the following month.

The Supreme Court found in favour of Apple in April 2019, but by then it was too late for the project – Apple had pulled a year earlier.

The judicial review regarding the Belview cheese plant is expected to report in a couple of months, but a Supreme Court appeal could ?stall everything for at least another year.

Last week Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “People have rights to object but, on the other hand, the increasing use of judicial review is something we, as a society, will have to reflect on.

“There is an independent planning process. It is rigorous and it should be respected,” he added.