Dairy could be gold top the area needs

PLANS for a new billion-litre dairy facility that could see the creation of up to 1,200 jobs have been warmly welcomed.

Arla Foods, owner of well-known brands such as Anchor, Lurpak and Cravendale, is to submit planning proposals for the milk processing plant, which would be situated on a 70-acre site next to the A41, to the north of Aston Clinton.

Mayor of Tring Roxanne Ransley welcomed the creation of so many new jobs at a time of economic difficulty.

She said: “I think it’s fantastic. I think it’s an ideal location for an industrial site with transport links provided by the A41.

“It will provide many permanent jobs, not to mention the jobs provided by the construction of the dairy itself.

“It is an industry that fits well within the farming area it will be situated in.”

Originally it was announced that around 500 new jobs would be created by the fresh milk development, but this figure has since risen to 680 for the £150m carbon-neutral facility.

Around 500 additional jobs could be created through the development of adjacent land for use by suppliers and retailers relevant to the industry.

But despite the benefits the development may bring in the provision of new jobs and economic growth in the area, some residents of Aston Clinton were left angry when they did not receive a vital leaflet about consultation taking place regarding the development.

Simon Icke, the Neighbourhood Watch leader for Long Plough, Aston Clinton, said: “I am certain that not one of the residents in Long Plough or The Greenwood, which represents more than 80 households, received an invitation to see the plans and have the opportunity to speak with Arla Foods senior representatives.

“Certainly many people I know in the village who take a real interest in what goes on in Aston Clinton did not know about it.”

People living in Weston Road and London Road also reported that no leaflet was passed though their letterboxes.

Arla Foods spokesman Nicola Hedge said: “Clearly we have had feedback that some people didn’t get a leaflet but we did send leaflets out and did drops ourselves. We also put it in the local press and did an interview on the radio to help raise awareness.”

All the consultation documentation is available online and residents can put forward opinions by emailing aylesburydairy@arlafoods.com or by calling 01133 827449.

Residents are concerned that the village is too small to accommodate a development of its magnitude, with silos reaching heights of 28m.

Resident Paul Dunnel’s words summed up the views of many when he said: “My first impression is that it is too much for the village. It will end up completely ruining Aston Clinton and the surrounding area.”

A campaign is now being set up in response to the proposals, which will likely be submitted next month.

What are your views? Is it great news for the Tring area or is it far too big a development? Let us know your thoughts. Our contact details are on page 2