The High Court has upheld the decision by An Bord Pleanála granting Glanbia planning permission to construct a €140m cheese manufacturing plant in Belview, Co. Kilkenny.
The Kilkenny plant is being promoted by Dutch dairy processor, Royal A-ware, in partnership with Glanbia, to supply the milk.
In November 2018, Kilkenny County Council approved planning for the Belview plant.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Glanbia Ireland said:
“Glanbia Ireland welcomes the decision of the High Court to uphold the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for its new continental cheese processing plant at Belview.”
“The new plant, which is to be developed under a joint venture agreement with our Dutch partner Royal A-Ware, is a vital Brexit diversification measure and is important for rural Ireland and for Ireland’s dairy sector as a whole.
Warrant an application for leave to appeal
In a statement, An Taisce said it is “now considering the judgment to determine if there are grounds that warrant an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal or for an application to the Supreme Court”.
In November 2020, An Taisce brought a legal challenge against the granting of planning permission on several grounds.
Dr. Elaine McGoff, Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce, said:
“In this case, the judge did not find in our favour, but this does not alter the validity of our concerns. As consistently confirmed by the EPA, all our environmental indicators are going in the wrong direction, with a drastic loss of water quality and biodiversity, and rising greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions.”
“Our case was that these impacts simply must be taken into account for any large dairy processing facility of the huge scale proposed. Sooner or later, Ireland is going to have to face up to its legal obligations and take the necessary action. Failure to do so will result in large costs to the state.”
“Ultimately, this was not a case taken against farmers. It was a case taken for our environment and the future viability of Irish farming, which is currently endangered by planning decisions that are not compliant with our environmental legal obligations.”
“We need to move towards a Just Transition for our farmers and also achieve strong environmental legal compliance in the planning process,” McGoff concluded.