Cheese firm plans to replace fire-ravaged factory

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

Abergavenny Fine Foods, pictured at Abergavenny, plans to build a new production unit. Photo: Google
Abergavenny Fine Foods, pictured at Abergavenny, plans to build a new production unit. Photo: Google

Related tags Cheese

Abergavenny Fine Foods plans to build a new food production unit after a huge blaze forced the closure of its previous factory.

The company, which claims to be the UK’s largest producer of fresh goat’s cheese, is seeking planning consent to replace fire-damaged buildings at its site in Blaenavon, Wales.

The plans are recommended for approval by Torfaen County Borough Council’s planning committee during a meeting on Tuesday (December 15).

Abergavenny Fine Foods hopes to build a new warehouse by March 2016 and open new production lines by May 2016.

‘Undetermined’ cause of fire

The large fire started in the existing food production unit on July 5 2015, but the cause remains “undetermined”,​ according to South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

The proposed new unit has floor space of 4,338m2 ​including offices, a new canteen and customer tasting suites. Demolition and some construction works have already started at the site on the Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate.

Council planning officers said the redevelopment would not affect the character of the area, which is part of the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site.

‘Major employer in the town’

“The applicants are a major employer in the town, contributing significantly to the local economy,” ​officers said in a report.

“The concerns in relation to parking are addressed in the scheme and notwithstanding the Coal Authority’s objection, it is considered the planning permission should be granted.”

The Coal Authority objected to the application because there is a mine entrance on the site and said that measures should be taken to mitigate the hazard.

Established in 1987 as a small farming enterprise by husband and wife team Anthony and Pam Craske, Abergavenny Fine Foods grew annual turnover significantly to £17.2M in the year to March 31 2014.

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