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An Taisce’s Refusal to Accept Planning Process is Subversion

  • Avoid the spin and read the High Court Judgment

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the refusal of An Taisce to accept three separate outcomes on the planning permission for Glanbia’s cheese plant is a subversion of our planning system.

“An Taisce has a role in the planning system. In taking up that role, they implicitly accept the process as robust, fair and independent. Running away with the football because they lost the match does not show much maturity,” he said.

This project has come under the scrutiny of Kilkenny County Council, An Bord Pleanála and more recently, the High Court. On each occasion, the process has found in favour of developing the plant.

The process should not allow this number of appeals. An Taisce has three strikes against them, and they are still not out. Rather than listening to the An Taisce spin,people should read the High Court judgment here. 

The Glanbia project was designed to respond to the challenge from Brexit and the need for our sector to diversify its products and seek new markets. “As the most exposed sector in the country, it’s reckless of any organisation to obstruct a valid initiative that is designed to safeguard the livelihoods of farm families and the rural economy,” he said.

The IFA President said An Taisce has still to answer the questions put to them about their structures and how the decision to persist with their appeal came about.

“Representatives of An Taisce have been telling us that they have a lot of new members, but they have not told us how many members they actually have. They have refused to say why their new constitution has excluded their local groups from their planning appeals decisions, and they will not say who decided to appeal the planning decision for the third time,” he said.

“In recent days, one of their officers said their legal team was operating on a ‘no foal no fee’ basis. This suggests that An Taisce will exhaust the legal system to block the project without incurring any cost. This is highly irresponsible and a blatant abuse of the planning system,” he said.

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