Bat fans kick up a stink over cheese fac­tory

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Anne Sheri­dan

ONE of Europe’s largest cheese fac­to­ries is set to bring nearly 80 per­ma­nent jobs to the midlands – but some lo­cals could not give Edam.

The pro­posed €130m mozarella fac­tory at Togher, just out­side Port­laoise, has seen ob­jec­tions from lo­cals over fears the cheesy pong might af­fect the lo­cal bats.

And while the fac­tory won’t be pro­duc­ing Gor­gonzola or Camem­bert – or any other fa­mously pun­gent cheeses – the 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week na­ture of the fac­tory is not Gouda, ac­cord­ing to ob­jec­tors.

The Glan­bia fac­tory would cre­ate 78 jobs – and a fur­ther 250 dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase.

But Togher res­i­dent Claire O’Donoghue, wrote a four-page ob­jec­tion to the plans. Among her con­cerns was the smell, given that the fac­tory would pro­duce 54,000 tonnes of cheese each year. ‘I can­not en­vis­age a fa­cil­ity mak­ing cheese to be to­tally odour­less,’ she wrote. She added that the fac­tory could de­value neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties, lead to a loss of pri­vacy, en­dan­ger wildlife and erad­i­cate the peace and tran­quil­ity of the area.

Her cot­tage, which dates back to the 1800s, has its own pri­vate well, and is sit­u­ated in ‘one of the last re­main­ing un­spoiled ar­eas in Port­laoise’.

‘Should this pro­posal go ahead, this last re­main­ing area of coun­try­side will be spoiled. We will be sur­rounded by ugly in­dus­trial build­ings.’

The plans – ap­proved by Laois County Coun­cil, sub­ject to 16 con­di­tions – have been ap­pealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Mr D Phe­lan, of Abbeyleix Road, Port­laoise, who ap­pealed the de­ci­sion on 10 grounds, also cited po­ten­tial odours – as well as threats to the lo­cal bat pop­u­la­tion.

He said five bat species – which are pro­tected by law – have been recorded within a 2km ra­dius.

The plans, by Glan­bia and its US part­ner Lep­rino, have been wel­comed by oth­ers, in­clud­ing Jus­tice Min­is­ter Char­lie Flana­gan.

Might cheese off bats Whiff:

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.