A WHITCHURCH cheesemaker has revealed plans to modernise its production facility with a new extension.

Belton Farm hopes to use the development to house upgraded equipment, according to a planning application with Shropshire Council.

Plans were submitted to the unitary authority last week for an extension to its base off the A41 in Whitchurch.

According to a design and access statement, the plans are ‘a long overdue upgrade to meet modern methods of working’, and the last extension of note was nearly 20 years ago.


It said: “The main driver is the fact the existing cheese production plant needs to be updated otherwise in the coming years, the company will find itself falling behind its competitors.

“Belton is planning for the long-term.

“The issue with upgrading the production plant is it can take a year to actually undertake the change.

“First, you must decommission the existing plant, dismantle it and prepare the factory for the new plant, then install it and get the new plant operating and working.

“Belton cannot afford a year of non-production – there is the financial loss to the business, contracts with suppliers and buyers, and importantly laying off trained staff for a year.

“An extension needs to be built so the new plant can be built while production is still going on.

“In addition, modern methods of production require slightly different plant – the main one being the larger cooling towers required.

“Those also need to be set on a platform to gravity feed the cheese vats [meaning] the extension needs to be taller than the existing building.

“Therefore, the applicant needs a modern building to house the new plant required for long-term operation of their business.”

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The statement added that the extension to the existing production building is expected to be 37 meters long, by 30 metres wide, and 9.5m high.

It added that there are no residential properties adjacent to the site to be affected by the proposal and that its location makes it a rural property.

It also stated that much of the screening of the site is in place as Belton Farm is an existing site.

Anyone wishing to view the proposal can do so by searching 23/04222/FUL at Shropshire Council’s planning portal.