Two Flintshire dairy farmers who have installed a milk bottle vending machine on their farm near Trelogan have won the support of Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS in their battle with the local planning authority.
Elliw and Einion Jones have been told that their vending machine at Mynydd Mostyn farm does not meet planning criteria and has been turned down as permitted development by Flintshire Council planning officers.
Now Plaid Cymru's regional Member of the Senedd has joined the battle. Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru's North Wales MS, said: "Farmers are constantly being told to diversify and Elliw and Einion Jones have done just that. Welsh dairy farmers in particular have had a difficult time in recent years with the collapse of various dairy processors and the constant squeeze from supermarkets. At the same time they're offering a service to a rural community and, by all accounts, it's a real rural success story.
"While I understand that councils have to enforce planning rules, planning guidelines are there to be interpreted in context. It's hard to believe that this small farming enterprise is causing problems on any scale when we can see the same local authority granting permission for hundreds of new houses in open countryside.
"Planning policy seems to favour the big developers rather than the small enterprises who are - as far as I can see - making a beneficial contribution to local food and a sustainable rural economy. I would urge Elliw and Einion to bring this planning application before the planning committee for their consideration. The huge public support for this venture is an indication of how valued it is."