Last week, Aylesbury Chiltern Resistance to Inappropriate Development (ACRID) held its first meeting since Arla submitted its planning applications for the site last month. At the meeting, it presented its plan of attack against Arla and asked residents to sign pro forma letters to Aylesbury Vale District Council expressing their opposition to Arla's applications for the dairy.
ACRID has also set up a lobbying website www.acridarla.co.uk that hosts four pro forma letters, one for each of Arla's planning applications. A post on the site, by Clive R Carlile, states: "Spread the word, write to the local authority, preferably referring to contravention of the Local District Plan, but expressing your personal views."
ACRID is asking for donations of £50 per household from local residents to fund the campaign.
Its campaign kicked off as a key local councillor dismissed major amendments to Arla's planning proposal submitted in response to local concerns as "cosmetic". One "key change" to the original proposal was to change the transport strategy in order to avoid routing any Arla vehicles on the A413 or town centre roads.
However, local Tory councillor Carole Paternoster cabinet member for strategic planning at AVDC claimed the changes offered little comfort. "All it means is that the town centre itself will not be impacted by traffic, but the A4157 will be affected and that will have a knock-on effect on the town centre."
An Arla spokeswoman said the development would only add a maximum of 22 lorries an hour to the road, "which is not a huge number".
As The Grocer went to press, AVDC had received 24 letters concerning the dairy application and a lesser amount in relation to the other applications.