A £30 million edible bone processing factory – believed to be the first of its kind in the UK – has moved a major step closer to being built in the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Plans for the plant at Bones Lane, Cheddleton, submitted by Advanced Proteins, were approved by councillors yesterday.
But because the factory is to be built on Green Belt land it must now be referred to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to see if he wants to call it in for further scrutiny.
Advanced Proteins – who formerly operated as John Pointon and Sons Ltd – say the scheme would create 30 skilled and engineering jobs on-site as well as 15 jobs in the local area for contract drivers, maintenance workers, electricians and other members of the supply chain.
In addition, it is estimated that 150-250 short-term construction jobs would be created.
The purpose of the plant would be to take delivery of bones currently categorised as inedible animal by-products from DEFRA-approved sites around the country and process them into food grade products.
According to the application, there are currently no plants in the UK capable of processing inedible bones into food grade product in this way.
Alongside the 4,950 sq. m factory would be an office block and parking for 36 cars and 10 electric vehicle charging points.
The factory, which would be built next to the company’s existing animal by-product rendering facility, was recommended for approval by planning officers at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.
In normal circumstances building on Green Belt would be declared inappropriate development.
However, Development Services Manager Ben Haywood told councillors that the proposal “generated significant economic benefits in terms of job creation, for the local economy and supply chains”.
He added that under these special circumstances, the benefits outweighed the inappropriate development factor and recommended the application be approved.
A total of 32 objections were registered to the plan by residents, mainly on environmental and traffic grounds.