BrewDog’s waste water plan approved

BrewDog's headquarters at Ellon's Balmacassie Industrial Estate
BrewDog's headquarters at Ellon's Balmacassie Industrial Estate

Ellon-based craft beer firm Brewdog has been granted permission for a large waste water tank that could save the business millions of pounds in the event of bad weather.

BrewDog requires the additional tank as a contingency to store water effluent from its processes during times when the local weather restricts or inhibits its movement to local farms where it’s then spread onto land.

It will be located at Unit 8 on the Balmacassie Commercial Park where it already has an existing waste tank, with associated feeder pipeline under the road.

Despite being recommended for approval by Aberdeenshire Council’s planning team, local councillors recently asked for more information on how the tank will be filled and for a clearer view of traffic movements at the site.

Other than a small spike in vehicle activity to empty the tank when any inclement weather improves, the firm assured councillors there would be no increase in average traffic movements.

In a supporting statement previously issued to the Formartine Area Committee, the firm’s water treatment specialist Andrew Yule explained: “The successful growth of the business is resulting in ever-increasing volumes of effluent which require increase in storage volumes and handling challenges.

“Currently the existing storage will only accommodate less than a single day’s production. This affect – although seasonal – can potentially have a massive impact on production, with all operations being severely curtailed or totally inhibited by the unpredictable local weather conditions.

“Without this improvement, the risk to the operations in Ellon will continue to increase and the potential cost to the Brewdog business could be measured in the £100,000s from each incident, with a potential seasonal impact that could be measured in the millions.”

Although the committee approved the application, councillors Gillian Owen and Anne Stirling admitted they were unhappy with the size of the tank.

Notwithstanding the associated landscaping, Cllr Owen said: “This is a very ugly building which will be an eyesore for a very long time.”

Also concerned by the visual impact of the tank, Cllr Stirling added: “It’s going to be very visible from quite a long way off.”