Concerns over traffic was a main topic of conversation at an exhibition for a proposed £50 million maltings on the outskirts of Rothes.
Scores of people attended the public consultation on Thursday in the town’s Grant Hall showing designs for the plant which Simpsons Malt want to build to the north of the town at Greens of Rothes.
Concerns about the plant have already been raised with the company including odour, visual impact and potential threats to the environment.
‘You have to be reasonable about these things’
Rothes resident Gordon Kelman who attended the event said: “The thing for me is the number of lorries going through the town.
“There’s parking on both sides of the street and it’s a bottleneck.”
Jean Richardson, who also lives in Rothes, said: “The company presented themselves in a very positive light.
“Although they say the amount of traffic won’t increase there will still be lorries going through Rothes.”
Another resident said: “It is quite a large area and I had concerns about the noise, smell, visual and the environmental impact but there are mitigations.
“There will be jobs and you have to be reasonable about these things.”
Simpsons Malt managing director Tim McCreath attended the event along with other representatives of the company and was pleased to be able to discuss the project with residents.
He said: “Our customer base is here.
“If the whisky industry continues to grow I believe its important for us to have a premises up here.”
“It is in excess of a £50 million build and is very much a Rothes and Speyside project.”
Jobs and apprenticeships
The aim is for the maltings to be carbon neutral, and if successful it could create 40 jobs including apprenticeships and produce 100,000 tonnes of malt per annum.
The company ran an online consultation in July but some people were unable to gain access because of technical issues.
Simpsons has been supplying malt to brewers and distillers for more than 150 years with customers including the Edrington Group, Chivas and Glenfarclas Distillery.
The company already has sites at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland and Tivetshall St Margaret, Norfolk.
The proposal for the plant – off the B9015 road to Mosstodloch – includes a processing plant, silos and sheds on a 40 acre site.
An outline planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of next month with the aim of having the maltings operational in 2024.