Ardagh takes Quinn to court over UK glass plant

The future of the Quinn Glass container manufacturing plant in north-west England, Europe“s largest, could be at risk after Ardagh Glass, owned by Dublin financier Paul Coulson, said it is taking leg…

The future of the Quinn Glass container manufacturing plant in north-west England, Europe“s largest, could be at risk after Ardagh Glass, owned by Dublin financier Paul Coulson, said it is taking legal action to force the closure of the GBP 260 million facility which has been operating for years without proper planning permission. Mr Coulson“s Ardagh Glass is to go to court in an effort to compel Chester City Council to shut the Quinn Glass plant, which employs over 500 people. Construction of the Quinn Glass bottle manufacturing site near Chester began in 2004, after it received planning permission for a development on the 83 hectare site. It applied for permission to expand the development by 25%, and continued to build the extended facility before it was approved. Permission was granted by the local council, then quashed. Years of dispute between Ardagh Glass, Quinn Glass and the local council ensued. The ongoing disagreement has led to the intervention of high-level government representatives in the UK, including former deputy prime minister John Prescott, who in 2005 demanded a public inquiry be held regarding the massive project. Chester City Council was due to hold a meeting in the week ending 21 February 2009 on moves by Quinn Glass to submit a new planning application for the site. However, discussions regarding the application were cancelled. A spokesman for Quinn Glass described Ardagh“s legal move as “another cynical attempt to manipulate the planning process in the UK”. He added that Ardagh is trying to stymie competition and that the Quinn Glass site is the most efficient in Europe.