Plans to create a new operations centre for a whisky auction business within a disused quarry near Ellon will be debated once more next week.
Whisky Hammer wants to create its new storage and distribution facility featuring a shop and tasting room at the former Allathan Quarry at Udny.
Founded by North-east brothers and keen whisky enthusiasts Craig and Daniel Milne, the Ellon-based firm’s proposal were deferred last month for a site visit after Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine Area Committee heard planners were recommending refusal of the application.
Officers continue to oppose the plans on the basis that the development cannot be considered “brownfield land” as the quarry site has naturalised and the proposed development therefore fails to meet council policy.
Councillors meeting on Tuesday will be reminded that the main issues for consideration in determining the application will be whether the principle of development, siting and design – and its impact on the amenity and character of the area – are acceptable when considered against the policies of the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2017.
Whisky Hammer says it remains committed to further local investment over the coming years to “fuel further growth” and to increase its market share of the ever-growing global whisky auction sector.
It says the proposal would provide “high quality, energy efficient” premises which would contribute to similar offerings which the Udny area is developing a reputation for via outlets such as Eat on the Green, Coffee Apothecary and the Craft Bar.
It states: “Whisky Hammer envisages the proposed location as a perfect fit for the business and, as part of its future growth plans, a new source of jobs for the local area alongside offering a new and exciting location for whisky-loving locals to browse, and taste some of the rarest whiskies available on the market.”
By Ken Duncan
Local Democracy Reporter