The new Scotbeef plant, to be located on Thainstone Business Park outside Inverurie, had been granted planning permission earlier this year, under the stipulation that the firm improved roundabouts near the site.
However, the manufacturer threatened to abandon the project unless the conditions were removed, arguing that the improvements were unnecessary. Councillors on Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch area committee subsequently unanimously backed the plans yesterday (4 December).
30 new jobs
Production would be moved from Scotbeef’s existing site in the town’s North Street to the new 8,856m2 facility, situated on 7.5 acres of land. It is understood that the site would create up to 30 new jobs and double capacity.
Director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer said the development was acceptable in terms of employment and business land, as it was considered that this site is a suitable location for this type of employment development, according to local publication Aberdeenshire Press and Journal.
“In addition, it is considered that this proposal complies with all other relevant policies, in that it is unlikely that this development will cause any adverse amenity impacts on the surrounding area nor will [it] impact the character or landscape of the area.”
Scotbeef unveiled plans for the plant in October last year and originally hoped construction on the site would begin in April of this year – with construction finished by April 2019. The project was awarded £4m through a grant from the Scottish Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Fund.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland had previously urged Aberdeenshire council to approve construction of the site, calling the development a “huge opportunity for investment in the north east, which will bring jobs and a modern, state-of-the-art food processing site”.
Meanwhile, a Northern Ireland bakery firm is to fast-track plans for a new factory after a “significant stake” in its business was bought by a US biscuit and pie-maker.