September 11, 2020

 

Building of new beef plant in Co Offaly, Ireland, deferred after appeal

 

 

Plans for a €40 million (US$47,341,400) beef processing plant in Banagher, Co Offaly, Ireland, was put on hold.

 

This is due to an appeal to An Bord Pleanála by Desmond Kampff and other residents against the approval given by Offaly County Council to Chinese-backed Banagher Chilling Ltd last month.

 

Kampff lives around one kilometre from the proposed development site. A self-described "lifelong environmentalist", Kampff told An Bord Pleanála: "We are a group of concerned local people who fundamentally believe there is no justification for the development of a facility of this scale at this location."

 

The appeal declared that existing meat processing plants in the region are currently operating at or are under capacity. The objection stated: "If this plant was to operate at a viable capacity, it would lead to the failure of one or more of the existing plants under current conditions."

 

The appeal goes on to state: "We are also extremely concerned about the potential impact of this proposed development on the environment, both in terms of carbon emissions and climate change and in relation to biodiversity".

 

It appeared that Banagher Chilling Ltd secured planning permission for the plant development after a government evaluation committee refused an immigrant investor programme application to one of the Chinese investors behind the project last month.

 

Barry Cowen, former Minister for Agriculture, said that the application was refused after the committee concluded the project did not align with the government policy for the beef processing industry and that it is not currently pursuing the development of additional plants where there is no established deficit in capacity.

 

An appeal for the decision is due in January 2021.

 

- Farming Independent