Saga continues: An Taisce brings objections about €140 million county Kilkenny cheese plant to Supreme Court
The future of county Kilkenny’s €140 million cheese manufacturing facility is once again in doubt after it emerged An Taisce is looking to bring their objections to the Supreme Court.
Early last month, the High Court decided to dismiss an appeal from the semi-state environmental agency against Glanbia’s ambitious project planned for Belview Port in county Kilkenny.
However, An Taisce has now decided to bring their objections to a higher court and is seeking leave to appeal the High Court’s decision to uphold the planning permission for the project approved by An Bord Pleanála to the Irish Supreme Court.
In a statement released by An Taisce regarding their objections, they said: “An Taisce has now decided to seek leave to appeal the judgment on a number of points of law that we believe set a precedent in respect of environmental assessment in planning matters which cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.
“The crucial issue is clarifying the correct level of assessment of environmental impacts required under EU law.
“The appeal was cited against national legislation, EU directives and relevant prior case law that highlighted fundamental grounds on which to overturn the permission. An Bord Pleanála, however, granted permission.
“An Taisce did not consider this to be in line with EU Directives or established case law and so took a Judicial Review with the High Court, which ultimately upheld An Bord Pleanála’s decision.
“As with any legal judgement, the recent decision of the High Court establishes a precedent on which future decisions may rely.
“Having considered the judgment in detail we believe there are a number of points of exceptional importance arising. If unchallenged, these would alter the fundamental legal obligations for environmental assessment in planning matters.
“These changes would relate to any other industrial developments where there is a connected supply of produce, the production of which in itself impacts the environment – as is the case here where there is an inextricable relationship between the proposed plant and the supply of milk, without which it cannot survive.
“Crucially, the ruling cast doubt on what the correct standard is under European law for the assessment of indirect environmental impacts, such as those caused by the production of the milk needed for the proposed cheese plant.
“An Taisce’s appeal of the High Court’s judgement is seeking clarity on that question,” the statement concluded.