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CHEESE MAKER WINE SITE BATTLE

Singletons Dairy is now putting together an application to demolish part of a former mill building at its base in Longridge to make way for the expansion of its factory.

Ribble Valley Council had been looking at including the building in a new conservation area for the town.

Tilly Carefoot, managing director of the family firm, said she was now hopeful of securing permission to demolish the building.

She said: “We are working on it now; there are surveys we have to do for bats, birds and other things which we are doing to make sure everything is right.”

The boss said the council had agreed the part of the building earmarked for demolition was not part of the original Taylor and Russell mill building and agreed not to include it within its proposed Stonebridge Conservation Area extension.

She said the firm, which employs more than 80 people, would be forced to relocate to another part of the town, if it was unable to expand.

The managing director said: “We are bursting at the seams here and I do not want to move onto a split site because that would become very difficult to manage. I do not want to leave Longridge, my staff are critical for the future of this business and the dairy herds which supply us are within 10 miles of the factory, we do not want to leave.”

A number of town and borough councillors, the Longridge town team and the town’s heritage group all supported the rejection of the conservation area.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, the deputy speaker of the House of Commons, warned the local economy would be affected if Singletons was unable to expand.

He said: “With 53 years behind them, Singletons Dairy is as much a part of the history of Longridge as the old Taylor and Russell mill. The difference is Singletons Dairy can also be its future.”