A POPULAR cheese business based in Whitchurch can proceed with its major expansion, Shropshire Council has ruled.

Belton Farm, which supplies its cheese products to a number of UK and international supermarket chains, applied for the expansion in October.

It was given the green light by Shropshire Council planning officers last week.


A report by planning officer Richard Denison outlined the reasons for approval.

He said: “Belton Farm has been successfully producing cheese for many years and has also been a good source of local employment.

“In recent times the direct access to the Whitchurch bypass has been of major importance and helped the business grow, but also reduce any impact the site has locally on neighbouring properties.

“The site has had previous planning approval for extensions in 2010 and 2011 neither of these were constructed.

“The last extension of was in 2005.

“The agent has indicated that the working processes, the equipment and the factory are long overdue an upgrade to meet modern methods of working and energy efficient ways of working.

“The main reason for the extension is that the existing cheese production plant needs to be up-dated otherwise in the coming years the company will find itself falling behind its competitors.”

A design and access statement submitted to Shropshire Council said 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 facility is in place as Belton Farm is an existing site.

Mr Denison added in his report that the new building will be clad in the same dark green colours as other buildings and will not impact on the area.

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He also noted that Shropshire Council’s own archaeology officer did not raise objections to the plans despite its proximity to a former Motte and Bailey castle.

He concluded: “The proposed extension is appropriate in its design and scale and it will not have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“In addition it will not have a detrimental impact upon residential amenities of the area.”