Pressure group the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said the production of Al Khaleej International’s proposed factory near the A59/A1 junction in Harrogate would have a significant financial and economic boost for the local area. But, care should be taken to make sure production doesn’t cause an impact on the local infrastructure, leading to increased congestion and pollution.
Jules Marley, chair for the CPRE’s North Yorkshire branch, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “[The CPRE’s comments] were designed to ensure that we have the right kind of planning and make sure that the planning application addressed all the issues raised.
‘Issues for improvement’
“We are not in the habit of trying to block jobs in the local area. There are issues that will need addressing in the planning application, but not enough to object to it – just issues for improvement.”
Marley added that a new sugar beet factory could generate income for thousands of farmers in the north east and reduce food miles.
Middle-Eastern sugar producer Al Khaleej submitted plans in May for the construction of the new sugar beet processing plant, with associated ancillary buildings, storage containers, car parking and landscaping.
The new factory would create up to 300 jobs, as well as create hundreds more jobs for the local area during the construction phase.
Create hundreds more jobs
Al Khaleej’s planning documents expected a supply chain of 3,500 British farmers to supply sugar beet to the proposed plant – mainly from across the north east.
The refinery would process between 24,000t to 36,000t of sugar beet each day during the harvest season – September to March – with warehouse and packaging operations in action 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Construction of the factory would see sugar processing returning to North Yorkshire for the first time since British Sugar’s York site closed in 2007, and would be the first new beet factory to be built in 90 years.
Meanwhile, plans to build a £14M cheese factory in Bangor, north Wales, which will create up to 30 jobs, have been recommended for approval by councillors.