Glanbia has set the ball rolling for an extension to a facility at its processing plant site in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny.

The dairy giant has sought planning permission from Kilkenny County Council for a two-storey extension to its existing research and development (R&D) facility at its plant at Ballyconra, Ballyragget.

This, according to the planning application, is to accommodate a pilot plant, laboratories, storage, dryer and wet process rooms, associated equipment and roof-mounted air handling equipment.

Glanbia Ireland seeks to make alterations to the existing R&D facility at the site to accommodate the extension that includes an increase in the first floor area, alterations to northern and western elevations and installation of roof mounted air handling equipment.

In addition to this, the processor is seeking planning for an extension to an existing car park north of the site, as well as a new car park to the south of the site.

Associated site works have also been applied for including: a pipe bridge; earthworks retaining walls; pedestrian routes; drains; and services including car park lighting.

The application says that the extension and alterations to the existing R&D facility will provide a “controlled and hygienic environment for product testing and development”.

The new car parks north and south of the plant will replace the 57 parking spaces removed to facilitate the extension to the facility and will provide an additional 54 spaces.

In a statement on the matter, Glanbia Ireland confirmed its intentions, saying:

“Subject to planning permission and other necessary approvals, the planned extension will allow our newly expanded R&D team to deliver more innovative value-added products for the global marketplace.

“Our top-class dairy and agri ingredients, as well as branded products, are exported to customers in over 70 countries globally.

Glanbia Ireland has invested €343 million in processing facilities in recent years to deliver value and produce new products from our milk pool which has grown by over one billion litres since 2014.

“With annual revenue of €1.8 billion, Glanbia Ireland has 11 high-spec processing plants, 53 agri branches and over 1,950 employees,” the statement concluded.