PLANS to install a new facility at a Chirk manufacturing firm have been revealed.

A planning application, received by Wrexham Council, requests permission for the replacement of a wood chip preparation facility at Kronospan Ltd on Holyhead Road.

The proposal includes a building to house new wood chip preparation equipment, development of a new wood chip dryer and associated sifting, grading and transfer system and the demolition of existing structures.

A planning statement submitted with the application explains: “As part of the renewal process at the Kronospan Chirk plant, it is planned to install a latest generation chip processing facility which would operate within a purpose-built, insulated building.

“Apart from improving the quality of the raw materials going into particleboard, a better facility would ensure that product quality is enhanced and the potential for off-site impact from noise and dust, resulting from equipment breakdowns, would be significantly reduced.

“The proposed wood dryer would also lead to efficiency and environmental improvements through the installation of new technology.

“The outcome of the proposed development would be a reduction in noise, dust and other fugitive airborne emissions from the manufacturing process.

“The colour and materials have been chosen in order to reduce the visual impact of the facility.”

Under a section about the ‘need and benefit of the scheme’, the document states the development is part of an ongoing improvement programme to deliver environmental improvements at the site and ensure the long-term viability of the manufacturing facility.

It adds: “Kronospan have completed and are currently implementing a number of projects aimed at further improving environmental conditions at the site.

“These include a project to reduce emissions and occasional plume grounding and development of significant infrastructure to reduce dust emissions from the receipt, processing and storage of RCF and storage of other raw product including wood chips, sawdust and bark.

“The continual improvement of the operational efficiency of the site will allow Kronospan to compete effectively with rival wood-based panel manufacturing companies across Europe, sustaining this important local business which provides employment to circa 630 staff and in turn the circa 6,000-plus people in the UK indirectly supported by its operations.”

n Last year Wrexham Council planning committee refused permission for an application to install a new melamine facing press at the Kronospan factory.

But earlier this year the Planning Inspectorate for Wales upheld the firm’s appeal against the decision.