The proposed cheese plant at Glanbia Ireland’s Belview premises “should be built without any further delay”, according to farming organisations and commentators.

A number of organisations have given their reactions to today’s news (Friday, July 2) that an application by An Taisce to seek leave to apply to the Court of Appeal was turned down this morning.

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Tim Cullinan said the Glanbia cheese plant should proceed without delay.

The project has now been fully considered by Kilkenny County Council, An Bord Pleanála, the High Court and this latest application. On each occasion, the process has found in favour of developing the plant, the IFA says.

“The decision not to allow a further hearing of An Taisce’s objection to the Glanbia cheese plant is the fourth time the project has been upheld,” he said.

“An Taisce has a prescribed role in the planning system, but they also have a duty to act responsibly.

“On each occasion, the process has found everything is in order. Objecting for the sake of it is an abuse of the system,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) also welcomed the judgement, with ICMSA president Pat McCormack stating that the proposed plant had now been examined in exhausting detail by numerous authorities and experts and all had given permission – subject to conditions.

He said that it is time for the matter to move forward with the Belview plant allowed to become a “critical piece of infrastructure for the southeast”.

Noting that there will be similar situations in future, McCormack said:

“We are all – farmers, environmental groups and regulatory bodies – going to have to work out a system where we put forward our analysis based on our best data – and then accept the verdicts of those charged and qualified to make the final decision and do this in a timely manner.

Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS) president Jerry Long said:  “This decision gives certainty to Glanbia, and to dairy farmers, so that they can plan their businesses, and continue to diversify post Brexit.”

Long added: “The industry has much work to do to support the sustainability of the rural economy, as well as to demonstrate and build on our credentials as producers of high quality, grass-fed sustainable dairy products.”

Finally, Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher lauded the judgement as a “victory for common sense”, adding: “enough is enough – it is time to get it built”.

Giving his view that he believed An Taisce’s case was “weak” from the outset, he claimed An Taisce was “attempting to use the planning system to change government policy”.

“This is a good day for rural Ireland. Jobs will be created in the construction and operation of this facility and thousands of dairy farmers have been given predictability and certainty in terms of their contracts,” Kelleher concluded.