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Plans by Smurfit Kappa to make Mold factory biggest in UK look set for approval

Plans by a major packaging firm to make its Flintshire base its largest production facility in the UK look set to be given the green light.

Smurfit Kappa applied to extend the capacity of its corrugated packaging plant on Mold Business Park by more than 14,000 square metres back in July.

It came as representatives for the European firm said the investment would provide security for 170 staff members currently employed at the site, as well as creating around 50 new job opportunities.

The application is set to be considered by Flintshire Council’s planning committee this week where officers will ask for authority to approve the scheme once a statutory notice period has run out.

Despite the scale of development, chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said the proposals were in keeping with the surrounding area off Maes Gwern Road.

In a report, he said: “The location of the facility is driven by the requirements of the production line and the desire to make the business more efficient.

“The proposal will raise the height of the building in one area; however the prevailing scale of the extension will follow the existing building and is very much a continuation of what is there already.

“The site is of more than sufficient scale to enable the existing building to be extended with all ancillary development.

“Visual impacts of the proposal are mitigated by the landscaping proposal, which is also considered to be a planning betterment of the existing landscape.”

Originally built in 1994,  the factory has passed through the hands of three different owners in the last two decades.

It was taken on by Smurfit Kappa in 2010 and in a planning statement the company said the new development would help it to meet demand levels within the industry.

It said: “The pressures in the corrugated market are demanding higher economies of scale and this expansion will enable it to remain competitive and operate with continued success.

“The proposal will allow the business expansion and provide a strong basis to continue operations in Mold for considerable period into the future.

“It will essentially elevate the Mold site to become Smurfit Kappa’s largest UK production facility.”

The proposals will be considered by councillors at a meeting on Wednesday.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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