The meat supplier first made the application to expand onto green belt land to North Yorkshire Council in January 2023, requesting permission to start work on “extensions to the despatch chiller and dry aged chiller”.
Green belts are areas of protected countryside situated throughout the UK, covering more than 12% of the country.
According to the UK Government, the green belt is designed to “prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open”. It is the responsibility of local government, in this case North Yorkshire Council, to “maintain and define” areas of green belt in their locale.
The North Yorkshire Council is set to meet tomorrow (11 July) to deliberate the application and determine whether construction can go ahead.
A planning statement submitted to the council by consulting firm RPS concluded that the development would have “no more than very limited impact on the openness of the Green Belt” and will cause “no harm to the purposes of the Green Belt itself”.
“Consequently, it is considered that the circumstances of this case clearly outweigh the potential harm to the Green Belt,” the report continued.
Meat industry jobs created
The current chillers are located in the village of Stapleton, North Yorkshire, where the business is primarily based.
Dovecote Park claims that the buildings no longer meet its requirements and need to be expanded onto protected green belt land. The development would create six additional jobs and help protect the positions of current workers.
Founded in 1997, Dovecote Park employs 700 people across its facilities in Stapleton and a further plant in Lincolnshire.
The firm supplies beef, veal and venison to all Waitrose supermarkets in the UK, as well as providing meat to restaurants including Burger King and Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Dovecote Park has been approached for comment.
In other news, members of the food and drink industry have welcomed the purchase of Plant & Bean facilities after the plant-based manufacturer went into administration.