Council backing for dairy's expansion and job's plan


Jim Green

A DAIRY hopes to create up to 100 new jobs after being given the go ahead to expand its Chester processing factory.

Meadow Foods’ plans to increase the size of its Marlston Cum Lache plant by 60 per cent received unanimous support from planning chiefs.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s strategic planning committee approved the proposals which involve extending the factory’s milk processing unit and chilled storage facility.

Cllr Alex Tate, who represents Lache, said: “To have an employer developing and moving forward in our area is excellent and to be commended.

“Up to 100 jobs including two apprenticeships is very good news. I would hope the jobs would be provided for local people.”

The Rough Hill factory is based in the greenbelt and Meadow Foods told planning officers they believed there were very special circumstances for allowing the development to proceed.

Under the plans, which do not include any additional building on green field land, a weigh bridge and security gatehouse will be repositioned and some existing buildings demolished.

There will also be a new footpath created along Rough Hill and the firm’s Goose Neck entrance will be closed to all traffic except that from Rough Hill farm house and the Goose Neck residential property.

Committee member Jill Houlbrook said: “It’s another positive – some more investment in the Chester area and some more jobs and the offer of apprenticeships.

“On the whole the positives do outweigh the negatives and I think there are exceptional circumstances to allow this development to go ahead in the greenbelt.”

Meadow Foods said more than 80 per cent of its employees lived within 15 miles of the plant and council planners received 500 letters supporting the expansion plans.

Cllr Mark Williams, whose Doddleston and Huntington ward includes the factory, said the parish council and some residents had raised concerns over the application.

He said: “In the officer’s report it says noise generated from the plant’s machinery can be controlled through the imposition of suitable conditions.

“I just want to reiterate this is a 24-hour site and there will be traffic movements at night and noises during the evening.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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