A FLINTSHIRE dairy farm continues to battle the local council over a planning row.

Self-serve machines, which offer bottled milk and milkshakes, were installed at Mynydd Mostyn farm in Trelogan, near Holywell, at the start of this year.

The roadside attraction, which is open 24 hours a day, proved to be a huge success for farming family Einion and Elliw Jones.

The machines recently first hit the headlines as being one of the first of its kind in North Wales and proving incredibly popular on social media.

They once again found themselves in the spotlight after a planning dispute emerged with Flintshire Council.

The local authority said that the machines, which pump out milk provided by the family's 280-strong herd of Jersey-cross milking cows, are housed within sheds that required planning consent that was not obtained.

They add to their claim that the machines and shed they are held in were put on land which forms part of the Mostyn Hall estate without permission.

The pair 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.

Since the news was reported in the Leader in late August, thousands backed the Jones family.

A campaign was launched on social media gathering hundreds of supporters from across the region.

It even made it to the Senedd – when North Wales regional MS Mark Isherwood raised the issue that the Flintshire family were facing directly with the nation's leader.

North Wales MS Mark Isherwood said: “I raised the case with the First Minister in the Senedd Chamber and asked him to ensure that Local Planning Authorities understand and comply with Welsh Government policy.

“The First Minister said he is aware of the case, but stated that he was not able to say anything further because Mr. and Mrs Jones have a right of appeal to Welsh Ministers and ‘anything I might say might prejudice that decision, I should do no more than recognise the points that the Member has made, and I'm sure that they will be taken into account should the applicant choose to appeal’.”

“I have therefore sent a letter to Mr and Mrs Jones for them to add to their appeal.

“In the letter I stress that ‘having visited the site, it is my evidenced opinion that this rural enterprise is exactly the sort of farm-based business which the Council should be helping to succeed.’

“And in response to statements in the Flintshire County Council Planning Officer’s report, I refer to the Welsh Government’s ‘Planning Policy Wales’ and relevant planning guidance, noting, for example, ‘that this Farm Gate Business has no adverse effect on a village shop or any other local business and, instead, is welcomed and supported by the local community”, and that ‘it was apparent from my visit that the provision of the milk vending machines is an ancillary use to the main dairy farm, not an entirely separate development to the farm.

"The goods being sold are primarily produced on the farm, with minimal sales of other welcome local and regional products’.

Mr Isherwood says that he stressed the machines are located in an ideal and manoeuvrable small unit, providing local jobs, in a yard which is integral to the farm.

He added: “Given the Planning officers claim “The site is only accessible by vehicle”, I noted ‘the highway which provides access to the site is popular with walkers and cyclists, and I witnessed many of these passing during my visit, some of whom stopped to purchase products from the milk vending machines.

"A number of motor vehicles also visited the site during my visit to purchase goods from vending machines but these were easily accommodated within the well-designed on-site parking provision’.”

Flintshire’s Chief Officer for Planning, Environment and Economy, Andrew Farrow, said: “As we have said previously we are very willing to meet the owners of the dairy and have invited them to review the situation and to enter into discussions on planning requirements.

“A meeting is pending. The site requires planning permission and does not have it.”