One of the panel that presented Arla with a council design award says she still opposes the £150 million plant, despite backing it for the prize.
Councillor Carole Paternoster said she still believes the megadairy should not be located where it is, by the Aston Clinton bypass, but admits the design has impressed her.
Arla, which produced its first batch of milk last week, was one of three winners of Aylesbury Vale District Council’s award for ‘outstanding design’, along with a new building at the Cuddington and Dinton Church of England School and a contemporary house near Long Crendon.
Mrs Paternoster, cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “I think it’s in the wrong location, in the foothills of the Chilterns.
“I supported the panel’s decision. It shows us the way forward for future commercial developments in Aylesbury.
“I think the design team have done the best they can with it.
“It could have been a massive shed in the open countryside.
“I have been round and inside several times and I think what they have done inside the building is exceptional.”
The winners were presented with certificates at the 20th annual district council design awards ceremony in Aylesbury last week.
Tim Evans, Arla’s senior director for supply chain development, said the company was ‘absolutely delighted’ to get the award.
Mr Evans said: “We incorporated the feedback we received during the public consultation period into the final design, the most significant being the change in the colour of the buildings to autumnal landscape colours, so it is particularly pleasing that the design has received local recognition.”
Councillor Sue Polhill, who also sat on the panel, said the award was based purely on the look of the building, not how people feel about the business.
Mrs Polhill, deputy leader and cabinet member for planned development, design and conservation said: “I know there’s a lot of anxiety about it and I understand that, but if you take the building and look at it, it is really well designed.
“We are not judging anything but how the building itself fits into the landscape.
“Give it a few years and it will settle in well.”