The Court of Appeal has given the green light for the construction of a nine million euro residential drug rehabilitation centre in Co. Meath.

The court has upheld a decision by the High Court that An Bord Pleanála was incorrect in deciding that the facility in Ballivor requires planning permission.

The Narconon Trust, which is behind the plan, sought a judicial review after An Bord Pleanála decided in November 2018 that a change of use from a permitted nursing home to a residential drug rehabilitation facility required planning permission.

Planning permission had been granted in 2014 for a nursing home at the site of the former old Ballivor National School but the nursing home was not built.

The site was acquired in 2016 by Narconon Trust which is linked to the Church of Scientology and supports drug rehabilitation charities as part of its mission.

A group of local residents and politicians has opposed the development in recent years.

The Ballivor Says No group previously marched to the Dáil and made several calls for the drug rehabilitation centre to be denied planning permission.