A meat processor located in Co. Offaly has recently submitted a planning application for an extensive expansion at its site in the midlands.

The application – submitted in July with a decision to be made by Offaly County Council tomorrow, Wednesday, August 28 – was put in by Banagher Chilling Ltd.

The project is the subject of a proposed investment by Chinese partners, according to local Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen, who recently commented on the matter:

The application, which also provides for the building of ancillary facilities, will enable the slaughtering and processing of beef cattle for the Chinese market primarily.

The TD added: “I welcome the significant economic benefit that this proposed development can bring to the west Offaly area in terms of its construction and subsequent employment opportunities at the meat plant, subject to a successful outcome for the planning permission application.

“The need to identify alternative employment opportunities in the area given the transition taking place in Bord an Mona and the ESB is a pressing one.”

The application

The application itself seeks planning permission for a substantial amount of development to the site.

It seeks a single storey extension to the existing abattoir of 1,061m² to include: processing rooms; staff changing rooms; offices; to increase roof height by 12m; as well as extending existing lairage and elevation alterations.

In addition, it seeks the construction of a food processing factory of 4,925m² with a part first floor of 2,299m² to include processing rooms, a cold store, a loading bay, chill rooms, plant rooms, staff changing rooms, a staff canteen and administration offices.

There are also plans for external works consisting of staff car parking, service yards, a new public road entrance, as well as: an effluent treatment compound; a water storage tank; gas storage tanks; a truck wash bay; and integrated constructed wetlands – as well as associated site works and landscaping.

An environmental impact assessment report and a natura impact statement were also included in the application.