Plans have been submitted for a new whisky distillery and tasting lodge in Ross-shire.
Ardross Investments Ltd want to convert old farm steadings at Ardross Mains, near Alness, with the intention of starting production on site by summer 2018.
The distillery will be run in the traditional fashion and it is expected that up to 15 workers will be employed there in either full or part time jobs.
It has been claimed that each job will likely generate another 2.7 jobs in supporting industries, while more posts will be created during the construction phase, according to the applicant’s design and access statement.
It added that the distillery will produce about 1 million litres each year when it reaches full-scale production.
A tasting lodge would be constructed to the north of the distillery overlooking scenic Loch Dubh.
Work will also involve construction of workers’ houses, office space and warehouses.
More than 60 people attended a public consultation in August and the plans were generally supported although some concerns were raised over access to core paths and Loch Dubh.
But the applicant states that these issues have been addressed by placing the tasting lodge to the west of the public path around the east and north of the loch, and that an allowance would be made for walkers parking off the farm track that forms the core path.
According to the statement, the distillery is comparable in size and style to Ballindalloch distillery in Moray.
Peter Allen, chairman of Ardross community council, said: “The buildings there have been in poor condition for about 30 years. They just fell into disrepair and have become a bit of an eyesore, so this is a good thing for these properties.
“There will likely be a lot more jobs created during construction but when they had a meeting with us they were speaking about 12 permanent jobs.
“There had been a bit of concern regarding traffic because it’s a single track road, but they gave us a fair answer in that there would be far more traffic going in and out if it was a housing development. Everyone is quite positive about the plans.”
The plans were received by Highland Council’s planning department on October 22 and validated on November 11.
The applicants were not available to comment yesterday.
Consultants Norr Consultants Ltd declined to comment.