An application has been made in the High Court seeking permission for a judicial review into the granting of planning permission for the Banagher Chilling meat processing facility.

In June, An Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the €40 million plant in Co. Offaly, subject to 15 conditions.

It came almost two years after Banagher man and self-described “lifelong environmentalist” Desmond Kampff and co-appellant, Gwen Wordingham, who also lives in Banagher, lodged an appeal against the Offaly County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the proposed plant.

An Bord Pleanála found that the development would not, pending the adoption of sectoral emissions plans, be contrary to the provisions of the Climate Action Plan 2021.

The board stated that the development would have a positive impact on the local and wider economy and would not give rise to a risk of pollution.

Kampff and Wordingham have now taken a legal challenge in the High Court seeking leave for a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision; Banagher Chilling Limited is listed as a notice party in the court documents.

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In seeking to have the planning permission overturned by the court, the applicants explained that they are “critically concerned” at the potential environmental impacts from the proposed meat processing facility.

They allege that the decision by An Bord Pleanála breaches the Water Framework Directive and surface water regulations.

They outlined concerns about proposed discharge of domestic and waste water from the site into the Feeghroe Stream, for which a water quality status has not been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

They claim that the planning board failed to establish that the proposed development, located 3km southeast of Banagher, would not cause a deterioration in water quality.

The applicants claim that the board erred in law in reaching the conclusion of no significant effect from the proposed development on water quality on the basis of licence conditions or stipulations over which the board has no control.

They claim that the board is not entitled to reach such a conclusion in circumstances where the EPA may impose different or higher value limits on the effluent discharge.

The applicants claim that An Bord Pleanála is precluded from granting consent for a development which may jeopardise the attainment of good water status and/or where no assessment was possible.

They also allege that the discharge would lead to significantly elevated nitrogen limits.

The case was mentioned before Justice Charles Meenan last week by the applicants’ barrister John Kenny, instructed by Eoin Brady of FP Logue solicitors. It is due to return before the court on November 14.

Plans for the Banagher Chilling facility were first lodged in July 2019; it would have the capacity to process 40t of meat per day and will cater for 140 cattle daily.