Supreme Court reserves judgment on scope of cheese plant appeal

An Taisce granted permission to appeal High Court judgment upholding the board’s permission for the €140 million Glanbia plant.

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a motion by An Bord Pleanála seeking clarification on the scope of an appeal over its approval for a cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny.

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a motion by An Bord Pleanála seeking clarification on the scope of an appeal over its approval for a cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny.

 

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on a motion by An Bord Pleanála seeking clarification on the scope of an appeal over its approval for a cheese plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny.

An Taisce was granted permission in September to appeal a High Court judgment upholding the board’s permission for the €140 million Glanbia plant.

The board’s motion in the Supreme Court was brought following a case management hearing on November 3rd during which there was a dispute between the parties over the breadth of the appeal permitted.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, Mr Justice Peter Charleton, Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley and Mr Justice Séamus Woulfe and Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said on Monday they hoped to deliver a ruling on the matter next week.

An Taisce’s case is against An Bord Pleanála, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Ireland, and the Attorney General, while the developer, Kilkenny Cheese Limited, is a notice party in the proceedings.

In granting permission for the leapfrog appeal (directly from the High Court to the Supreme Court) in September, the three determining judges said the proceedings concern questions about evidence and the obligation to produce evidence in cases where a proposed development may involve potential effects on areas protected under the Habitats Directive.

Former Chief Justice Justice Frank Clarke, Ms Justice Mary O’Malley and Mr Justice Marie Baker, said in their determination that such a case can ordinarily only garner development consent if it has been found there is “no reasonable scientific doubt” that the integrity of the site will be preserved according to its conservation directive.

The judges said the Court considers as a matter of general public importance the pursuit of further clarity on the issue of the approach to evidence or argument about relevant scientific matters in judicial review proceedings such as this. The appeal to the highest court was granted in these circumstances, they said.

The High Court’s Mr Justice Richard Humphrey’s dismissed in April of this year an application for judicial review of planning permission for the cheese manufacturing facilities. He also dismissed in July an application for permission to appeal his decision to the Court of Appeal.