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Arla seeks public feedback on superdairy application

1 commentBy Elaine Watson , 02-Dec-2010

Arla Foods will seek feedback from local residents in Aylesbury next week about its plans to build a 1bn litre 'superdairy' on a 70-acre site in Aston Clinton.

Arla, which revealed the proposed location of its £150m dairy in September after securing the land, has yet to submit a formal planning application for the dairy it plans to build on it, a spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

"We have an agreement in place with the land owner, which was why we put out a statement in September, but we have yet to submit the full planning application. We're working very closely with the local council and residents and we're inviting people to comment on the application on December 8 and 9."

The full application would be submitted formally some time during the winter, she said. However, Arla remained confident that the dairy would be operational at some point in 2012.

Susan Kitchen from the planning department at Aylesbury Vale District Council, said: "Arla is carrying out pre-application community engagement, which we would encourage for a project of this scale. We also need a statement of community involvement."

Best location

When the location was unveiled in September, Arla said that Aylesbury had emerged as the front‐runner out of several possible locations as it offered the "best overall logistics solution to service Arla’s customers, when considering both raw milk collection from farm and finished product to the retailers. It also provides the best access to a densely populated area".

Project management for the new dairy, which is being billed as the most "environmentally advanced in the world" is being handled by Jakob Wielandt Nielsen (pictured), who will be responsible for finalising the design of the dairy, appointing contractors and overseeing its construction and installation.

Market impact

While the dairy would shake up the market, most analysts predict it will not add significant net capacity to the UK liquid milk processing sector as Arla is widely expected to close plants in Ashby, Hatfield Peverel and Oakthorpe as it comes on-stream.

“The headline 1bn-litre figure is not necessarily as bad as it seems," Shore Capital analyst Clive Black told FoodManufacture.co.uk in May. "We believe that Arla will close three plants into the new one.”

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Consultation with the public is 'null and void'.

The consultation meeting held in Aston Clinton IMO is 'null and void' as it seems more than half the village of Aston Clinton hadn't been informed about the meeting/consultation interview opportunity. Arla Foods' communications company had failed to carry out an audit as to just how many households had been directly informed about the consultation opprtunity in Aston Clinton. Director Tim Evans when asked the question, confirmed no audit had been undertaken as to how many leaflets had actually been delivered to Aston Clinton households. There were many of Aston Clinton had no idea it was taking place and missed their one and only opprtunity to see the proposals or question Senior Executives from Arla Foods and their consultants; not only is this not very democratic but it also goes completly against David Cameron's 'Big Society' of empowering local people in any decision making in their local area. To many people in Aston Clinton and neigbouring village the covert manner in which these proposals have been kept under raps for so long until know, smacks more of a 'Secret Society'...certainly not the 'Big Society' David Cameron speaks about. IMO this whole process should be repeated' but this time employing a communication company that can guarantee every Aston Clinton household knows of the consultation opportunity, not just a random few! I am the Neigbourhood Watch co-ordinator for Long Plough & The Greenwood which represents 80 households, I can confirm that not one single household on my watch had been told about the consultation opportunity! When I made phone calls to other friends in the village in other Avenues, roads and streets they also confirmed they knew nothing of the consultation opportunity! As a communication excercise Arla Foods have failed to communicate properly with local residents, therefore the consultation process carried out so far is 'null and void'.

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Posted by Simon Icke Aston Clinton Resident
06 January 2011 | 18h09