A north-east council chief says he is “disappointed” Brewdog broke the confidentiality of ongoing talks about a multimillion-pound hotel and distillery development.
Earlier today the beer producer branded Aberdeenshire Council “deluded” in a row over the price of land near its Ellon brewery.
Brewdog are proposing to build a hotel, conference centre and distillery at Balmacassie and were in private negotiations with the local authority.
But the firm has accused Aberdeenshire Council of charging 60 times the market value of the 2.5 acres needed for the project and jeopardising as many as 80 jobs.
Now council boss Jim Savege has hit back. He said: “We are a proactive council with a commitment to working with local businesses. We also have a responsibility to ensure best value for public money.
“There are on-going protracted negotiations with Brewdog and this announcement appears to be intended to weaken the council’s position.
“We’re disappointed that the company has sought to break confidentiality during what we regarded as live and on-going discussions to achieve an agreement which is fair to both parties and which protects the interests of the local taxpayer, as well as creating opportunities for residents.”
Mr Savege said the “heart” of the row is that Brewdog wants to build on land already earmarked for the expansion of a local cemetery.
“Their suggested land value is more representative of agricultural value than a site which has permission for an alternative use.”
“If Brewdog remains committed to taking forward this development, then we remain committed – as always – to do everything that reasonably can be done to help the company achieve its ambition.”