Arla Foods is another step closer to starting work on its £150m Aylesbury mega-dairy following the decision by secretary of state Eric Pickles not to get involved in its planning application.

Arla was granted permission by Aylesbury Vale District Council on 23 September, but Pickles had the right to 'call in' the application for further review. 

Pickles said he had carefully considered the impact of the new dairy on the local economy and environment and that it was not necessary to step in because: Arla's plans did not conflict with important national policy have significant effects beyond the local region give rise to substantial or national controversy raise significant urban design issues or involve national security or foreign governments. 

Arla now only has to finalise with the council a section 106 agreement setting out its obligations to the local community.