An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for Banagher Chilling Limited to construct a €40m meat factory in Banagher, Co Offaly.

Permission has been granted for the facility with a total floor area of 8,578m2. An old abattoir on the site, 3km south-east of Banagher, is also to be refurbished.

The building is advertised as an extension to an existing abattoir, however in its decision, An Bord Pleanála said the “scale of the proposed development is very much larger than may be envisaged by an extension.”


Output at the facility is expected to be in the region of 40t per day and the factory is expected to process 140 cattle per day.

This, the planning board said, is “very significantly in excess” of the approximate 100 cattle per week that the old abattoir on-site catered for.

Planners said that details of the application were referred to An Taisce, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Heritage and the Heritage Council.

“No response to these referrals were received by the board with the time period specified,” it said.

An Bord Pleanála found that the development would be of “significant importance to the local economy” and that it would not be contrary to the Climate Action Plan.

Documents seen by the Irish Farmers Journal list Banagher Chilling Limited as having an address at Westmoreland House, Westmoreland Park in Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

There are two directors of the company; Li Wang and Jianwei Wang, and the company was set up in December 2017.


Two appellants to the project, Desmond Kampff and Gwen Wordingham from Banagher, raised a number of concerns relating to the project with An Bord Pleanála.

They said it was an “unsustainable and unsuitable” development for the area and that the plant “poses grave risk to the local environment and offers very little benefit to the local economy.”


Former Minister for Agriculture and Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen said the development will be a “competitive outlet” for farmers.

“New competition ensures markets can be filled creating new opportunities, thus allowing farm families get fair prices for quality produce.

"I intend now to engage with the promoters of Banagher Chilling project, review the grant of permission and any conditions attached with a view to progressing and proceeding to its construction."

Victory for common sense

Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) beef chair Edmund Graham described the planning decision as a victory for common sense.

“This planning process for this meat plant has dragged on for years now. Thankfully common sense has prevailed, and some badly needed competition can hopefully be introduced into the beef sector, albeit in a relatively small way.

“It is extremely frustrating that the planning process has taken so long. There is a real danger that other potential investors could be put off by the lengthy delays experienced by these particular investors.

“The reality is that this factory could – and should - have been up and running by now. However, we now face the prospect that the original €40m investment may not even be enough to get this project off the ground now given the increase in construction costs,” he said.

He added that lessons must be learned from this long running saga.