Politician warns Arla on 'superficial' dairy plan changes

By Graham Holter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Buckinghamshire Arla

An artist's impression of the super dairy
An artist's impression of the super dairy
Arla has modified its plans to build a super dairy near Aylesbury, but a local councillor has warned the firm that its changes are ''superficial'', and that opposition to its £150m project will continue.

A detailed planning application has now been lodged with Aylesbury Vale District Council, where officers are now checking the technicalities of the documentation before submitting the plans to members. Arla hopes to open the finished facility in 2012.

However, there has been widespread concern about the impact​ the 70-acre, 1bn-litre dairy would have on the Aston Clinton area. Opponents say that traffic generated by the facility would be unmanageable, and that its buildings would disfigure the countryside.

Dairy giant 'listened'

Tim Evans, senior director for UK projects and engineering, said Arla had addressed some of these objections: “We have spent many months listening to people’s views and ideas, and have sought to take on board their comments and feedback and incorporate mitigation measures in our final plans.

“This unique proposal would deliver quality employment and training opportunities as well as boosting the local construction market. We believe the £150m investment to deliver the dairy and the £20m annual wages bill would have a positive impact on the local economy.”

The modified masterplan includes increased landscaping and the creation of 34 acres of new woodland; it would also ensure that more vehicles use the A41 bypass to London, rather than smaller local roads.

Superficial changes

But Conservative councillor Carole Paternoster described the changes as “superficial”​, although she said she had not yet been given access to the detailed plans.

“Obviously we need to see the full details of the application. But the transport infrastructure is not capable of handling what they want to use that site for," ​she said.

“I’m sure the opposition will continue and I’m sure it will increase. Not just in Aylesbury Vale but potentially also Hertfordshire County Council because of the transport implications.”

However, Arla Foods said the site was chosen due to its "optimum position between supplying farmers and the growing population in the southeast”.

Outline planning applications have also been submitted for additional commercial space to the north and south of the site, which Arla said would be used as a catalyst to attract further inward investment to the area.

The dairy giant described its proposed dairy as “one of the most environmentally advanced in the world”​, and said it would be a zero-carbon facility that supplied no waste to landfill.

Related topics Dairy

Related news

Show more

1 comment

Serious traffic and road traffic accident (RTAs) issues with A41 bypass

Posted by Simon Icke,

Serious Traffic problems and increase in RTAs expected on already dangerous A41 bypass...(between Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire and Watford, Hertfordshire).

If you buy the Hemel (Tring) Gazette this week you will read a report of yet another serious accident on the A41 bypass. It seems hardly a month goes by that we hear news of yet another serious accident on what must be one of the most dangerous dual carriage ways in the South East of England. The prospect of the additional movements of more than 1000 Arla HGVs coming and going daily to the proposed Arla distribution factory just off the A41 bypass at Aston Clinton and travelling between Aston Clinton and the M25 junction at Watford more than 20 miles away will only add to the prospect of even more serious accidents on this already very dangerous road.

Plus the implications for serious traffic problems caused by the blockage of the A41 bypass and the use of a most unsuitable exit and entry slip roads on and off the A41 bypass which is not suitable for large volumes of ordinary vehicles (cars and vans) let alone at least 1000 movements of HGVs connected to Arla distribution business every day. It will be just more serious RTAs just waiting to happen on the A41 dual carriage way.

In addition at peak times morning traffic coming from Aylesbury will be backed up all the way to the Holiday Inn and the Bedgrove roundabout, causing commuter traffic heading towards Watford, M25 and London to use local roads to avoid the traffic jam, meaning local traffic will use the 'old routes'; before the bypass was built, through Bedgrove, Stoke Mandeville, Wendover, Halton ,Weston Turville and Aston Clinton on the old A41; commuter traffic heading for either the Amersham Road or Tring Hill to rejoin the A41 bypass beyond the blockage.

Also on the traffic issue, geographically this is just the wrong place to situate a distribution business so far from any motorway junction in all directions. Traffic coming from a westerly direction or heading in a north westerly direction have no choice but to head through Aylesbury, heading to or from the M40 junctions at Thame or Bicester both or these options at least a 40 minutes drive for a HGV just to get to or from the motorway junction or if they choose to head north or east via the M1 junctions 11 to 14 again it is at least a 40 minute journey; using country lanes, heading through New Mill, Tring, Bulbourne, Pitstone and Dunstable or alternatively heading trough the villages of Marsworth, Cheddington towards Leighton Buzzard and the A5 towards MK or Toddington.

The only 'clear route' is to and from the M25 at Watford over 20 miles from Aston Clinton; imagine over 1000 HGVs a day heading in both directions on one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the SE of England, the A41 dual carriage way. Just ask Hertfordshire Traffic Police for the RTA record on the A41 bypass; including many fatalities every year since it opened. The number are already unacceptable and cause of great concern for the traffic police and emergency services.

This road is not a motorway even though people drive on this road as though it is! It has dangerously short slip roads and no hard shoulder for the most part; these factors have contributed to the very high serious accident statistics. A significant increase in traffic caused by the planned mega Arla industrial site at Aston Clinton can only make an already serious situation a lot worse.

However, it seems many 'fools' have been taken in my the Arla 'jobs propaganda' and are not interested in hearing of such dangers, they prefer to bury the heads in the sand and pretend such accident statistics don't exist; they also pretend that the significant increase in traffic caused by the mega Arla factory will not be a problem.

I hope these decision makers don't ever claim in the future they were not warned; if this nightmare traffic scenario ever becomes a reality.

Report abuse

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast