Petition to save farmers Einion and Elliw’s milk vending machines tops 5,000 signatures
A petition to save the milk vending machines of a farming couple has topped 5,000 signatures.
The roadside attraction in Trelogan, near Holywell, had proven to be a huge success for farmers Einion and Elliw Jones, with the milk provided by the family’s 280-strong herd of Jersey-cross milking cows.
However, officials from Flintshire local authority have intervened after it was revealed the machines and shed they are held in were put on land which forms part of the Mostyn Hall estate without permission.
Now a petition from Tehya Williams has been set up arguing that the decision has had “locals are in uproar” but that “there may be a chance to save Mynydd Mostyn.”.
“Local farmers struggle enough as it is without the extra targeting brought by councils,” Tehya Williams said.
“Mr and Mrs Jones and their children have all worked extremely hard with making Mynydd Mostyn what it is today. Bringing joy to families and being a lovely spot to relax and grab a milkshake.
“They have made so many people happy and for what? For them to be shut down? Let’s fight for Mynydd Mostyn Dairy to stay open as part of the extended farm!”
Ellis and Eifion Jones had tried to argue to Flintshire Council that planning permission was not required as it was in fitting with the wider farm.
But officials from the local authority have denied a request for a lawful development certificate to be issued in respect of the machines due to the scale of the milk vending business and lack of adequate parking.
In a report, planning officer Claire Morter said: “The local planning authority are satisfied that the activity being undertaken was initially planned to be linked to the main farm enterprise.
“However, the scale of the operation is now such that although the milk is generated by the farm, the retail use and associated engineering operations required to sustain the use are entirely separate to the farmstead.
“The site is only accessible by vehicle, and at peak times it appears that the provision of parking is not adequate. The site is highly unsustainable.
“The retail activity is on a large scale with many customers travelling by car, to the site. The use is available 24 hours a day.
“For the reasons outlined above I am concerned that due to the level of activity the business has a very distinct and separate character to the existing farm use.”
The officer concluded the development should not be classed as lawful development, which means enforcement action could be taken against Einion and Elliw Jones.
The business previously made headlines during lockdown in January, when police told customers to leave the site or risk being fined for breaching Covid rules.
The move was criticised by the two farmers, who said social distancing measures were followed and that customers were from neighbouring villages.
Mrs Jones told the Local Democracy Reporting Service they are currently deciding whether to appeal the council’s decision.
She said: “We are proud of our diversification here at Mynydd Mostyn farm.
“We will be seeking advice from the Welsh Assembly with regards to the council’s decision.”
The petition can be signed here.
This article contains additional information from a Local Democracy Service article by Liam Randall.