180 new jobs at risk as environment groups appeal plans for €140m cheese plant in Kilkenny
Plans for a new €140 million cheese manufacturing plant in South Kilkenny that would have created up to 80 jobs have been on hold.
An Taisce and Friends of the Irish Environment have lodged an appeal with Bord Pleanála against the decision of Kilkenny County Council to grant permission to Glanbia for a continental cheese manufacturing plant in the IDA’s Belview Science and Technology Park.
The project is being developed by JHOK Ltd – a joint venture between Glanbia Ireland and Dutch dairy group Royal A-Ware.
The company plans to develop a Dutch-style cheese production facility on a 10-hectare site next to an existing Glanbia milk processing plant in Belview.
The company had hoped to begin construction work on the project next year, with the plant becoming operational by the end of 2022. However, that has been thrown into doubt by the planning appeals.
In its appeal, the Friends of the Irish Environment claimed the project was being made possible by the Government-supported Foodwise 2025 strategy which aimed to increase the production and export of dairy goods. But it argued the intensification of the Irish dairy sector was having “multiple adverse impacts” in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the deterioration of water quality and ammonia levels.
An Taisce claimed Glanbia’s application by the company was “premature” ahead of the details of CAP reform due to be published in 2020.
An Bord Pleanála is expected to issue a ruling in the case next April.
Glanbia Ireland currently has 11 processing plants, employing more than 1,800 people.