A PLAN to extend a huge warehouse and take on 45 staff at a leading soft drinks manufacturer looks set to overcome planning restrictions and prove it warrants approval as an “exceptional case”.

Hambleton District Council’s planning committee has been recommended to pass Cawingredients’ application to create a warehouse extension to the north of the rapidly expanding firm’s 2.29-hectare Leeming Bar site, despite part of the scheme being outside development limits.

To the north of the application site a new access road, turning points and lorry parking are proposed.

The firm, which was established in 2010, said the proposed warehouse extension would measure 9,038sq m and accommodate growing manufacturing processes, which includes the production of soft drinks from raw materials and of bottles.

The finished product will be stored within the existing and proposed warehouse facilities and distributed by road, as required by national retailers.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Currently the business provides employment for circa 220 members of staff, 72 of whom have jobs associated with the existing warehouse.

“The proposed warehouse extension space will provide additional storage from the increasing production created in the factory to the south of the Cawingredients site and will create a staff increase of 40 to 50 members of staff, ten to 15 of these additional staff members will be allocated to the warehouse team.

“Whilst offering skilled employment opportunities, the business also provides additional custom for local shops and businesses; an increase in staff will further improve this situation.”

An officers’ report to the planning committee states as the site lies in part outside the development limits of any settlement “an exceptional case must be made for development”.

The report highlights that the National Planning Policy Framework encourages support for a prosperous rural economy requiring planning policies to take a positive approach to sustainable new development.

While the framework states “planning policies and decisions should recognise and address the specific locational requirements of different sectors”, the report adds that policy for Leeming Bar Industrial Estate has emphasised the development of the “food cluster” in the area.

After expanding the site in 2015, Mr Cawthray said he had long-held plans to extend the factory and warehouses. He said: “You can’t get away from the fact that this business is geared around volume so having the capability to manufacture large production runs, as well as having built-in flexibility for packaging options, is essential.”