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Planning inspector backs Maelor Foods expansion

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal by a poultry processing plant to increase the number of birds it processes at its factory near Wrexham.

15 May 2019, at 10:31a.m.

Hywel Wyn Jones has overturned the decision by Wrexham Borough Council to refuse permission to amend a planning condition to enable Maelor Foods to process up to 1 million birds per week at its factory in Cross Lanes.

His decision published on 13 May follows a planning appeal held in March. The inspector said it was made in accordance with the Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act’s sustainable development principle through the objectives of "supporting safe, cohesive and resilient communities; improving prosperity; and fostering conditions for sustainable economic development and employment."

The expansion, which will come into effect once conditions including improvements to the highway network are met, will lead to a minimum of 80 new jobs and an estimated £101 million boost to the local economy.

The state-of-the-art poultry processing plant, which is shortlisted as a finalist for Processor of the Year at the 2019 National Egg and Poultry Awards, opened in 2017 on the former First Milk site following an investment of more than £20 million. It was backed with a £3.15 million grant from the Welsh Government’s Food Business Investment Scheme.

Managing Director Raj Mehta said: “We are very pleased to be able to draw a line under this protracted planning process. Having open communication between our neighbours, the community and local councillors is a priority and we will be looking to establish a formal and regular dialogue with them moving forward.

“We are grateful to the inspector for the time he spent understanding our intentions and the conditions we are prepared to operate to mitigate any impact on the local community.”