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Fate of farmer’s milk vending machine hangs in the balance after over 250 letters of support

07 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
The milk vending machine at Neuadd, Cemaes. Image – LDRS

Gareth Wyn Williams, local democracy reporter

A decision has been delayed on whether to allow an Anglesey farm business to keep its popular milk vending machine after the council received 252 letters of support for the farmer.

It had been proposed that Anglesey Council’s planning committee should refuse consent to keep the already constructed wooden hut and hardstanding area that houses the vending facility at Neuadd, Cemaes.

But at the behest of local councillors Aled Morris Jones and Richard Owain Jones – as well as the letters from the community – committee members instead decided on a “virtual” site visit to find out more about the site and surroundings before coming to a decision.

The applicants were also backed in their efforts by Llanbadrig Community Council, with the site standing just off the A5025 en-route to the Gadlys Hotel.

With such vending machines becoming popular with farms as a way of supplying fresh milk to paying customers at a push of a button in recyclable glass bottles, it follows the success of other similar ventures across Wales.

The proposals at Neuadd had been presented by Gareth Jones of the nearby family dairy farm at Nant Y Frân, Cemaes, with the site having been operational since July.

Despite the applicants not owning the application site, the application noted that an agreement was in place with the landowner of Neuadd Farm, while also creating one full-time job.

‘Sustainability’

The local authority has received a planning application to build a wooden hut which would house a milkshake vending machine at Neuadd, Cemaes

But the report compiled by authority planning officers recommended that members refuse the plans after citing policy contraventions.

These included claims that the proposal would result in “the unacceptable and unjustified development of an isolated A1 retail outlet in the open countryside,” said to be contrary to planning guidelines.

The applicants’ supporting documents, meanwhile, noted: “At present, five local Welsh speaking people work on the farm along with the applicant and his father, resulting in the farm supporting a total of seven households.

“As a result of uncertain times facing the agricultural sector including Covid-19, Brexit and diminishing farm subsidies, the family have decided to diversify the agricultural business and set up an additional outlet for their milk, by way of selling milk and local produce through a vending machine.

“This provides the opportunity for people to purchase local milk directly from the farmer himself which has been produced by cows grazing less than 700m from the site, reducing food-miles and increasing the sustainability of the product.”

It’s expected that a decision will be made when the county’s planning committee next meets in November.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
15 days ago

Is the applicant prepared to pay the same business rates as any other retail outlet? If so then they should allow his PP as long as he has a full traffic plan, separation of farm vehicles from the public and proper facilities.

Erasmus
Erasmus
15 days ago

Nice. City people have to go from farmer to farmer to gather milk and cheese, like in WWII.
Global Britain, my donkey.

Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards
Jonathan Gwyn Mendus Edwards
15 days ago

First principles – do we support Welsh family farms or not, Kerry D? Assuming yes, we all see that they need to diversify. And keep business rates relief, for the foreseeable future. Morfa Farm, near Fishguard, is a shining example – actually queues during the tourist season. Yes we also need to move on to reduce reliance on tourism. But the farms need help.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
14 days ago

They are not paying what village stores have to pay and village stores aren’t grant funded by the taxpayer in the first place. They aren’t paying for upkeep of roads their customers are using and I doubt if they have big signs telling those customers that with no Planning Permission they are uninsured on an industrial worksite.

By all means do it but don’t do it at others’ expense while avoiding tax and the responsibilities everyone else has to bear.

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