Plans unveiled by whisky maker Chivas Brothers and approved by the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) could see a trebling of production at the home of one of Scotland’s best selling single malt whiskies.
Chivas, owned by French drink giant Pernod Ricard, sought permission to build new facilities and upgrade existing ones at The Glenlivet distillery near Ballindalloch on Speyside.
As well as increasing output, the plans are expected to create 13 jobs.
The planning application included a new processing building to house distilling operations, a new tank and equipment area, groundworks and landscaping, a replacement biofuel plant, new pipework, site access, alterations to the existing feed facility and new surface water arrangements.
Chivas said the plans – expected to run into millions of pounds – were at a very early stage and part of a “feasibility project to define the scope of future operations at The Glenlivet distillery”.
A spokesman for the company stressed nothing had been decided but added: “We are pleased to have received a planning consent so smoothly from Cairngorm National Park and in addition we welcome that our considerations for the environment and local impact gained approval.
“This project is designed to meet the demands of the future and the exact scope of any development will be confirmed as and when is appropriate.”
CNPA’s planning committee approved the plans at a meeting in Ballater yesterday.
Planning officer Katherine Donnachie said: “This is a major application and as such has been subject to a statutory pre-application consultation with the community prior to the submission of the formal planning application.
“Some concerns have been raised over the course of the processing of this application, particularly in relation to the roads round about the distillery and impacts on the River Livet.
“Planning conditions have been attached to the consent with regards to details of discharge and abstractions at the River Livet, and to ensure that measures are taken to protect European protected species.
“The applicant has also agreed to improve the C57H road which leads to the distillery…and agreed to make a financial contribution towards improvements to the B9008 (Tomintoul to Dufftown road) in the future when phase two of their development gets underway.”
Planning committee member Duncan Bryden added: “I fully support this application to expand operations at The Glenlivet distillery.
“The economic importance of this proposal is of national significance as well as locally. Whisky is a major economic driver for Scotland, with brands known the world over and it supports many jobs – often in rural areas like this.”