IRELAND – Banagher Chilling Ltd has been granted planning permission to continue the construction of the €40 million (US$ 42.46 million) beef processing plant in Banagher by the Irish appeals board, An Bord Pleanála.

The appeals board’s green light comes almost two years after Desmond Kampff and co-appellant, Gwen Wordingham lodged an appeal against the Offaly County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the proposed plant.

The appeals board granted planning permission after concluding that the proposal would be in accordance with the national and regional policy on development in rural areas, and the promotion of the agricultural sector and rural economy.

The board also found that the meat processing plant would not, pending the adoption of sectoral emissions plans, be contrary to the provisions of the Climate Action Plan 2021.

Additionally, the proposed plant was found not to seriously injure the visual amenities of the area or have a significant negative impact on the lands.

The ruling further determined that the new facility would not depreciate the value of properties in the area and would not give rise to a risk of pollution.

The project plans were first lodged in July 2019 for the meat processing facility that will have the capacity to process 40t of meat per day.

The project which involves “a single-story extension to the existing abattoir” and the construction of a food processing factory of 4,925 square meters, on a 19.6-hectare site near Banagher, will continue subject to 15 conditions.

Included in the 15 conditions are that the slaughter rate is limited to 140 animals a day, averaged over a four-week period and that the facility must obtain an appropriate license from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The granting of greenlight to Banagher Chilling comes at a time when the Irish meat market which was valued at US$2.159 billion in 2022 is projected to grow annually by a CAGR of 1.11% from 2022-to 2027, according to Statista.

Banagher Chilling stated during the ruling that it was not intending to apply for a non-EU license and that Ireland did not have a trade agreement with China.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), Irish meat is exported to around 70 countries around the world, both within the European Union on general commercial documents and outside the European Union.

Exports are either on the basis of bilaterally agreed veterinary health certificates, or EU health certificates or on general meat certificates. 

Banagher Chilling plans to process about 36,000 animals per year at the new factory and has its eyes on both the local and the EU export markets.

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