June 19, 2021
Business News

Court appeal could scupper €140m cheese plant in county Kilkenny and local jobs

Local food gaint Glanbia has said it it “is deeply disappointed” with the decision by An Taisce’ to appeal the recent High Court ruling dismissing its challenge against the construction of a €140 million cheese processing facility in county Kilkenny.

On April 20 the High Court upheld An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission for a new continental cheese facility at Belview in the Port of Waterford.

Over the weekend it emerged the independent State environmental body intends to challenge the court’s decision – which could delay the project by years or kill it off completely, scupping plans to create up to 80 new jobs locally.

Responding to An Taisce’s decision, Glanbia Ireland’s chairman John Murphy said: “We passionately believe in this project, which is critical to our market diversification post Brexit and will support Ireland’s post-Covid recovery.

“The combined impact of An Taisce objections to this project has been a two-year delay to 2024, but an appeal could delay the project even further.

“This would be bad for farmers, bad for rural communities and would hurt Ireland’s reputation internationally as a location for much-needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Mr Murphy said Glanbia is “fully committed to sustainability best practice”. He said the company has “actively engaged in the consultation process on Government policies to secure a sustainable future for the agricultural sector, through AgClimatise and FoodWise 2030″.

My Purphy added: “As has always been the case, we remain available to meet with An Taisce to address their concerns through constructive dialogue.”

Over the weekend, KilkennyNow.ie reported that former Fine Gael ministers and two Senators have criticised An Taisce for appealing the High Court’s decision to grant planning permission to the new €140 million cheese plant in Belview.

Local Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan, along with Charlie Flanagan, Paul Kehoe, and David Staunton – who are all former ministers or ministers of state – and Senators Garret Ahern and John Cummins – released a statement calling on An Taisce to withdraw its appeal.

“This notice to appeal the decision made by Kilkenny County Council, An Bord Pleanála and now the High Court doesn’t cast Ireland in a good light locally, regionally or internationally – particularly at a time when we urgently need foreign direct investment and sustainable, well-paying jobs in our rural economy,” the joint statement said.

 

 

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