Go Vending: Fresh milk business in Dreghorn gets green light

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COUNCILORS have overturned a decision to refuse planning permission for a fresh milk business in Dreghorn.

Proposals were submitted earlier in the year to change the use of the vacant Jarvie Plant unit on Corsehill Mount Road to a retail outlet.

The applicant, Graham Owens, who owns local firm Go Vending, hoped to diversify his business by partnering with a local farmer to deliver farm fresh milk via on-site vending machines.

In a confirmation statement submitted alongside the plans, which were rejected in May, Mr Owens said: “We want to build a brand around this concept, also offering milkshakes, home baked goods and a selection of typical snacks/refreshments from the vending machines and coffee

“We hope to enhance the area by offering a unique retail experience while providing healthy options for customers.”

North Ayrshire Council (NAC) chiefs initially rejected the application because they felt it conflicted with the council’s local development plan’s town center first approach.

It was felt that there was “a limited number of surrounding businesses within walking distance of the application site to justify the need for retail at the site”, and it was stated that the business would be better located in Irvine town center or High Street, Draghorn.

However, at a meeting of the NAC local review body (LRB) on Monday (October 24), councilors overturned the decision and agreed to approve the plans.

Expressing his intention to work with Brian Young of Lochhill Dairy Co, based in New Cumnock, who started a similar business venture during the lockdown, Mr Owens told the meeting: “We think we have a very special project here both for Irvine, so for North Ayrshire.

“This is a family, healthy, ecological project that we are very passionate about.

“It will be a success for us and for Irvine, but we cannot find the right premises outside [Jarvie Plant].”

The building site, which had been “abandoned for a long time”, will be revived and Mr Owens said he hoped to see the business expand further in the future.

Councilor Timothy Billings, chairman of the LRB, said: “We think it’s a unique concept and from what we’ve heard today, we agree that it’s something that won’t work in the town center and won’t take away from the city’s center because of the differences it has.”

Following the decision, Go Vending Scotland posted on Facebook: “Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged us to move forward.

“Watch this space, something special is coming to Irvine!”

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