29 January 1999

MMDsays factory still part of plans

MILK Marque Developments has denied rumours that it has dropped plans to build a £50m butter/milk powder factory in Cullompton, Devon.

The firm says the planning application is making good progress, and a decision is expected at the end of March.

But a spokesman adds that the Cullompton site, which could take up to 2m litres of milk a day, is one of several options, since the planning process cannot be pre-judged. "We have said this all along, and it remains the case today."

The rumours, started in a specialist dairy journal last week, suggest MMD decided to pull the plug on the project when butter and skimmed milk powder prices headed for the floor.

Politicians in the region were quick to show concern. But MMD insists that short-term vagaries of the market are not relevant.

"The plant uses modern equipment, which allows powders to be produced to individual customers precision specification," says the spokesman. "These can be traded at a premium." &#42