Britvic: £25m expansion for Leeds bottling plant will bring 40 new jobs

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DOZENS of new jobs are to be created at a Leeds bottling plant after plans chiefs green-lighted a £25m expansion.

A Leeds City Council planning panel has given the thumbs up for major work at the Britvic factory in Swinnow.

It will include side extensions to the factory in Swinnow Lane, as well as a bigger lorry parking yard and new staff car park.

The firm - which currently has 150 workers - has been operating in Leeds since 1974. The investment will create 40 new jobs.

The changes will also include a new high-speed bottling machine which will produce 36,000 two-litre bottles an hour and will be one of the fastest production lines of its kind in Europe.

A meeting of the South and West plans panel heard the plant was a “major” industrial site in the city.

The council had received 21 objections to the expansion plans from local homeowners concerned about noise from the round-the-clock operation.

However the meeting was told the firm has promised to install a special 5.5m noise-deflecting ‘acoustic’ fence at the site. The proposals represented a “significant investment” in the site, the panel heard.

Locals had also expressed fears there could be a negative impact on local house prices from what they described as a “ginormous” extension to the site.

A spokesman for Britvic, who was at the meeting, apologised for a “less than ideal” late consultation process. But he added changes had been made as a result of some of the feedback, with landscaping and fencing increased.

Councillors approved the project, with Coun Mick Coulson commenting: “I trust this company. I think they have proven they want to be neighbour-friendly.”