Dairy farm makes fresh bid to keep popular milk vending machines amid ongoing planning row
Liam Randall, local democracy reporter
The owners of a dairy farm have made a fresh bid to keep their popular milk vending machines running amid an ongoing planning row.
The self-serve machines, which offer bottled milk and milkshakes, were installed at Mynydd Mostyn farm in Trelogan, near Holywell, in Flintshire at the start of last year.
The roadside attraction, which is open 24 hours a day, has been a huge success for farmers Einion and Elliw Jones, with customers queuing in their droves.
However, the future of the venture was cast into doubt in August after it was revealed the shed which houses the machines was placed on land which forms part of the Mostyn Hall estate without planning permission.
Flintshire Council denied a request for a lawful development certificate to confirm it was acceptable due to the scale of the business and lack of parking at the site.
Mr and Mrs Jones have now submitted a formal planning application to the council in their latest attempt to gain approval for the scheme.
In a planning statement, agents acting on their behalf said it would help to improve the viability of their business.
They said: “As the proposed development forms part of a farm diversification scheme, the principle for development can be established in line with national and local planning policy guidance.
“The proposed development is of a high quality design and that fully takes into account the natural environment surrounding the site.
“It has further been demonstrated that the proposed development is located at a sustainable site with good access to sustainable modes of transport, helping to reduce the demand to travel by private car, and the proposed parking on site complies with the councils’ parking standards.
“Finally, it has been demonstrated that the proposed development supports and promotes the use of the Welsh language and culture through bilingual signage and through adopting a Welsh name.”
‘Outpouring of public support’
There was a large outpouring of public support for Mr and Mrs Jones after news of the council’s intervention broke last year.
More than 10,000 people put their names to a petition calling for the authority to review the decision.
Former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman showed her backing by encouraging her thousands of Twitter followers to sign it.
Planning officials previously reaffirmed their stance on the vending machines after highlighting the “significant” amount of traffic at the site.
In August, a spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We will willingly offer the vending machine operators more advice on request.
“At this stage, they do not have the required permission to operate the facility.
“Bear in mind that the operation of the facility has also caused significant additional traffic at peak times, in a rural setting, without sufficient on-site car parking and safe access.”
The business also made headlines during last January’s Covid lockdown, when police told customers to leave the site or risk being fined for breaching the “stay at home” rules.
The move was criticised by the two farmers, who said social distancing measures were followed and people had travelled from neighbouring villages.
It’s expected a decision will be made on their planning application at a later date, with comments currently being invited via the council’s website.
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