The site of an illegal meat processing plant in Ludgershall which was raided by Wiltshire Council has withdrawn plans to make these activities legitimate.

A planning application was submitted to convert the Crown Garage on Andover Road into a meat cutting and packing facility from its current use as a car wash in January. This followed a raid in November last year, when over 2.4 tonnes of meat was seized from the site after council officers stormed the site, finding beef, goat and lamb in “poor condition”.

However, the plans have now been withdrawn following almost 50 objections to the plans, as well as being called in to the council’s planning committee by Councillor Christopher Williams. Many of the objections noted concerns over traffic to the site, as well as claimed hygiene issues following the raid.

The origins of the raid lie not in Ludgershall, but Devizes, where a car wash in New Park Street was raided in October, where they found fresh meat being cut in “grossly unhygienic” conditions.

The facility’s operator, Gent Jakupi, subsequently appeared in Swindon Magistrates’ Court where he was ordered to pay £4,024.50 to the council, as well as being banned from operating the meat cutting plant after being served with a hygiene emergency prohibition order.

He subsequently moved his operations to the site in Ludgershall, without registering this with the council or Food Standards Agency. This site was then raided on November 27, with 2.4 tonnes of meat found. Another hygiene emergency prohibition order was served, banning meat processing at the address.

At the time, Jakupi said that he was buying the meat fresh and shipping it the same day, so was unaware that he needed a licence. He added that his premises was cleaned thoroughly, describing the floor as “so clean I would be happy to eat off it.”

Wiltshire Council disagreed, with Councillor Simon Jacobs, cabinet member for public health and public protection, saying that officers were “shocked” that “even the most basic requirements” were not met.

Tidworth Town Council had objected to the plans, saying that traffic to the site “would impact the area severely”, as well as claiming that the application was incomplete, with a ‘lack of information’ on “vermin” and “foul odours”, as well as sewer disposal, with the disposal method given as unknown on the application.

Following the application’s withdrawal, the applicant may choose to resubmit the plans in modified form in the future.