The Black Isle Brewery will relocate to Inverness if Highland councillors approve its plans for a new base next week.
The company hopes to build a new brewery, visitor centre, shop and bar restaurant on land at the entrance to Inverness Shopping Park.
Highland Council’s south planning applications committee will consider the application on February 7.
If it’s approved, the brewery will move from its headquarters at Allangrange to the new site.
Why does the brewery want to move?
According to the planning papers, the current Black Isle Brewery HQ is at capacity and there is no potential for expansion.
The new site at Eastfield Way is five acres.
It is estimated that it will attract around 20,000 visitors a year.
Its 15 staff at Allangrange would move across to Inverness. An extra 30 jobs would also be created at the new base.
The new building design will reflect the agricultural origins of the business.
Previous applications at retail park have been rejected
Approval for the Black Isle Brewery plans could indicate another shift about how planning officials are viewing out-of-town development.
Two previous applications that included drive-through restaurants were made for the same site in 2011 and 2013.
Both were ultimately refused, something that was once common under the council’s city centre first policy.
But because the new restaurant is part of the brewery development, that policy will not be considered for this application.
A statement from planning officers John Kelly and Jennifer Mair said: “Other uses, specifically the bar and restaurant elements, would not normally be supported at this location.
“However, because the application clearly demonstrates that these uses are integrated within the main brewery development, these policies are not required to be tested in this instance.
“It is perhaps worth noting that it would be unlikely that any future intensification/expansion of the bar and restaurant or indeed retail uses would be supported at this location.”