An Taisce says it will continue to try an stop a massive cheese factory in south Kilkenny in the national interest.
The National Trust organisation has confirmed it is going to appeal the recent decision of the High Court dismissing its challenge against the planning permission granted by An Bord Pleanála and Kilkenny County Council.
The €140m factory is a joint venture between Glanbia and Dutch company Royal A-Ware at Belview Science and Technology Park in Slieverue.
Natural Environment Officer with An Taisce Dr Elaine McGough says this is an important legal case for the country because there are ”points of law of exceptional importance which should be appealed in the public interest. These go to the fundamental legal obligations for environmental assessment in planning matters, in particular in relation to dairy processing.”
Local Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan slammed opposition to the factory as anti-rural but Dr McGough says that couldn’t be further from the truth: ”An Taisce is very aware of the scale and tone of public comment since it first sought a review of this planning decision. Contrary to some public commentary, we care deeply about the viability of Irish rural life. We want the long term sustainability of Ireland’s agriculture and food sector to be assured, but the continued expansion of intensive dairying presents an existential threat to that possibility. Science supports this view and we feel strongly that decision makers and commercial interests must recognise the urgent need to bring us into compliance with our binding national and European legal obligations. ”