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High court rejection of An Taisce’s appeal to cheese plant welcome

Decision paves the way for Glanbia to commence construction of a continental cheese manufacturing plant at Belview

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has warmly welcomed the decision by the High Court today to uphold the decision of An Bord Pleanala to grant planning permission to Glanbia for the construction of a €140 million manufacturing facility adjacent to the Port of Waterford in Belview. The project is a joint venture between the large Dutch dairy processor Royal A-ware and Glanbia.

Last month Senator Cummins was one of a number of Fine Gael politicians who came out publicly criticising the action by An Taisce to appeal the decision of An Bord Pleanala on several grounds including that the environmental impact of the agricultural activity arising from the production of the estimated 450 million litres of milk per year needed to supply the plant hadn’t been considered.

At the time Senator Cummins said ““This decision by An Taisce in seeking to block the new Glanbia cheese plant at Belview is bad for jobs, bad for rural Ireland and bad for farm families. The proposed new Cheese plant is fully in line with government policy on dairy production. The Teagasc roadmap to 2027 supports an increase in milk production to 9.49 billion litres and that milk has to go somewhere”.

In welcoming today’s news Senator Cummins said “this plant is vital not only dairy farmers across Waterford but for the wider local economy. It is estimated that for every euro a farm family receives in income, four euro is spent in the local economy. Given that Glanbia paid out over €1 billion to dairy farmers across the country last year, including €161 million in Waterford it is easy to understand why it is so important this project proceeds without any further delays”.

“This €140 million plant will create a large number of construction jobs and will give farmers certainty that their supplies will be needed for many years to come. In that context, I am hopeful that Glanbia will be able to review its decision around peak capacity intake”

Senator Cummins concluded by saying “I sincerely hope that this is the end of the matter and that An Taisce will accept this decision. Planning has now been approved by the Local Authority, An Bord Plenala and the High Court via this judicial review process. Glanbia must be permitted to commence this project without delay, farm families in Waterford cannot afford to wait any longer. I know many young farmers in particular have invested heavily in their operations on the back of this plant coming on stream. The economic impact across the region of any further delays, let alone the damage to our international reputation as a world leader in food production cannot be put in jeopardy by further action.

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