A new £17 million abattoir will be built on the outskirts of a north-east town after councillors gave the go-ahead to the plans.
The new Scotbeef meat processing facility is a joint venture between ANM Group and Scotland’s largest meat processing company, JW Galloway.
It will take shape at the expanded Thainstone Business Park outside Inverurie, replacing the existing facility in the town’s North Street.
Councillors on Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch area committee unanimously backed the plans yesterday.
The authority had granted permission for the project in August, provided the firm improved the Thainstone and Port Elphinstone roundabouts on the edge of Inverurie.
Scotbeef threatened to walk away unless the conditions were removed, arguing the improvements were unnecessary, and yesterday the council relented.
The facility will cover more than 7.5 acres and will include a car park with 96 spaces at the front of the site.
NFU Scotland has called the development a “huge opportunity” for the north-east.
Planning officials at Aberdeenshire Council had recommended the committee approve the plans.
The firm successfully argued that any extra traffic would be present at busy times and that the roundabout changes were unnecessary.
Concerns that the site would block the view of Bennachie when viewed from a distance were also dismissed.
Director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer said: “It is considered that this development is acceptable in terms of employment and business land, as it is considered that this site is a suitable location for this type of employment development.
“In addition, it is considered that this proposal complies with all other relevant policies, in that it is unlikely that this development will cause any adverse amenity impacts on the surrounding area nor will this development impact the character or landscape of the area.”
Concerns were also raised at yesterday’s meeting over the volume of traffic travelling to and from the site.
But councillor Marion Ewenson said: “It’s a relocation from the middle of Inverurie, so the traffic will be there anyway.
“It’s far better that it goes out to Thainstone.”
Scotbeef managing director Robbie Galloway hopes to create up to 30 jobs and double weekly capacity once the new plant opens.