Credit: Gript

“They might as well shine an ‘Investors Beware’ beacon into the midlands sky.” Carol Nolan

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has said that objectors to the multi-million-euro Banagher Chilling development might as well shine a permanent ‘Investors Beware’ beacon into the sky above the midlands as the planning saga for the facility currently makes its way through the High Court.

Deputy Nolan went on to state that the period from which the original planning application was lodged, to the present time, has now exceeded 41 months.

Planning was lodged in July, 2019. It was then granted planning permission in July, 2020 by Offaly County Council and following a lengthy appeals process the go-ahead was granted by An Bord Pleanála in June of 2022.

This decision by ABP was then appealed to the High Court by the original environmental objectors, where it currently remains:

“The vast majority of people in Offaly and the wider midlands region, and indeed the majority of public representatives such as myself were delighted when the ABP decision came through in June,” said Deputy Nolan.

“However, as we know, the process now remains in legal stasis until the High Court makes its decision.”

“It is absolutely absurd for a facility which has been subjected to intense levels of local government and planning authority scrutiny to be held up in this way. We need that investment to deliver competitive outcomes for our farmers and our communities and we need it now.”

“This entire issue has to be reviewed because we simply cannot have a repeat of this every time an investor wants to bring jobs and competition to Offaly and the region,” Deputy Nolan concluded.

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