An Taisce has said it is “very disappointed” with today’s High Court decision to dismiss its challenge against An Bord Pleanála’s granting of planning permission for a cheese-manufacturing facility in Co. Kilkenny.

The environment and heritage body said its decision to appeal the granting of permission for the Glanbia plant in Belview, was based on “conviction” and it will now review the High Court’s decision.

In a statement, An Taisce said:

“The application to appeal was based on the firm conviction, supported by advice – legal and scientific – that the High Court judgment rejecting the judicial review of the An Bord Pleanála decision on the Belview cheese plant raised points of law that are of exceptional public importance and which are, therefore, essential to appeal in the public interest.

“Our view, on the basis of the application, has not changed but the board of An Taisce will review the judgment and assess its options before making any further comment.”

This morning, High Court judge, Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys, issued a 36-point judgment outlining his decision on the matter.

“The reason the applicant isn’t succeeding here is not because this procedure could be questioned but because the application hasn’t met the existing tests for the procedure,” he said.

Commenting on the decision, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president, Tim Cullinan, said construction of the cheese plant should proceed without delay.

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

“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.