The application would see the processor’s existing site in Lees Lane, Newton demolished and replaced with a more modern factory that meet BRC standards, including facilities where potatoes are washed in the packing environment. This is currently only handled at its Epworth, Doncaster site.
The new factory would be almost twice the size of the existing site at 2,700m2, able accommodate new machinery and provide internal and cold storage.
EPS warned that jobs could be lost if the plans were not approved. In a planning statement prepared on behalf of the manufacturer, planning agent Simon Plowman said: “If the new build does not go ahead the operation at Bentworth will probably have to be halted and all operations and jobs directed to Epworth.”
With the second site situated 66 miles away from Macclesfield, the decision to move operations away from the areas would either result in jobs losses, or employment being drawn away from the area.
The processor also works with 23 potato growers in the local area that would be affected by the closure of the plant.
“There could be detrimental impacts upon local growers if EPS were to close the processing side at this site – local growers will find their operation harder and probably with much less margin,” Plowman added.
The final date for consultation on the planning application is 13 June 2019, with councillors due to meet next Wednesday for a final discussion on the matter.
Meanwhile, last week, Wrexham-based doner meat producer Armon is looking to enter the poultry market with the construction of a chicken processing facility.
The business submitted a planning application for chicken processing plant with Wrexham County Borough Council. In the documents filed, the proposed new site would measure 779m2, made up of offices and an operations area. It is also expected to create six new jobs in the business and would operate 24 hours a day.