Expanding Perth Food and Drink Park will boost the local economy and attract new businesses to the city, it is hoped.
Proposals to extend the business centre in North Muirton Industrial Estate have been given the green light by Perth and Kinross Council.
The local authority took over the land in 2016, to boost Perthshire’s growing food and drink industry.
Now it has been agreed to expand the site into a remaining 10 acres of land in Arran Drive.
The council said the aim of the proposed development “is to maximise the potential of the Perth Food and Drink Park and to encourage sustainable economic growth, by attracting new business and employment opportunities in the area”.
Designs were prepared by building consultants Sweco on behalf of the council, to expand the existing park, which was built in 2012.
Supporting food and drinks industry
The design statement says: “The proposed development is an extension of the existing Perth Food and Drink Park at the northern edge of Perth.
“The vision of this project is to continue developing this area for employment and sustainable, purpose-built development dedicated to supporting Perth’s growing food and drinks industry.
“The proposal aims to create new serviced plots for future commercial investment, design an attractive space well-suited for future investment and employment, and make use of the existing active travel links surrounding the site.
“The proposals will create a connected and accessible space, incorporating a high-quality landscaping and drainage area. The proposed land use is appropriate to the setting of the surrounding location, strengthened by a set of sustainable design principles to guide future development.
“Once completed, the development would provide wide and long-lasting employment and economic benefits to business and the surrounding communities.”
The statement by Perth and Kinross Council notes the site has good transport links, with the A9, A912 and A85 all close by.
Work will include new road infrastructure, with an approximate 115m-long extension
of Arran Road, including a roundabout.
A new footpath from the north end of the road extension to the existing path to the north of the site boundary would also be built.
Travel by foot and on bike, including links to the public transport network, are also to be encouraged where possible in the design of the site.
Public consultations were carried out in January 2018 with a public exhibition and the more recent online consultation event in December 2020.
Some respondents were concerned about existing traffic congestion on Arran Road and Bute Drive, particularly during rush hour.
Ready meal factory
Planners said further community and public consultation may be carried out at a later date.
The current units built at £7.6m purpose-built Perth Food and Drink Park sat vacant for much of their infancy, with the first firm to move in being a haulier company.
The cul-de-sac also proved a popular site for Traveller encampments.
In November 2019, Tabla and Indian Cook School owner Praveen Kumar announced that he would be cutting the ribbon on his new ready meal factory, spread across a couple of the units.