THE first steps in building the world’s biggest dairy were put in motion this week.
The £150 million Arla development is now set to take shape during the coming year, with the main buildings due to begin taking shape by April.
Project director at Arla Foods, Tim Evans, says the dairy could be complete by as soon as the summer of 2013.
“This is an incredibly exciting project for Arla,” he said.
“At its peak, the project could see around 1,000 construction people onsite.
“Over the next three months we will be moving the top layer of soil off the site and starting on the noise mitigation measures with the earth mounds, or bunding, that will be placed around the site as agreed in the planning mitigation measures.
“We will also be putting in 32 acres of new landscaping. There will also be underground works carried out then, including drainage, foundations and fittings.
“Then as of April, the steel frames will start to go up. The building is then set to be completed by December. Then in 2013, we can start putting the processing equipment in, and the milk will be brought into the facility by summer 2013.
“We will begin working with the main contractors and sub-suppliers in May to see how to get them to take up the outline application for the Arla village.
“Although that realistically won’t be completed until considerably later, as we have to go back and complete detailed planning, which will take around six months.”
While the construction is being carried out, however, Mr Evans added that Arla will be working hard to comply with regulations and be a considerate neighbour.
“If local people are interested, there will be large signs at the site informing people of what’s happening,” he added.
“We will also be putting out monthly newsletters to the local community and we’ve also set up local liaison group with key members of the parish council and local residents. In addition we’ll will be setting up a hotline to monitor complaints and will be checking routes taken by our contractors.”
February 7, 2012: Work begins on the 115-acre Arla site.
February-April, 2012: Top layer of soil on the site will be moved and noise mitigation measures put in. Thirty-two acres of landscaping will be included, as well as underground works such as drainage, foundations and fittings.
April: Steel frames will be erected for the dairy building.
December: The building will be complete.
2013: Equipment installation.
Summer 2013: Milk processing begins at the megadairy.