A huge warehouse development could be on the cards for a Speyside town.
Global drinks company the Edrington Group are looking to build 21 maturation warehouses, a filling store and tree nursery along with associated roads and services at Glenrothes Distillery on the outskirts of Rothes.
The 68.5 hectare site includes a yard to the north of the distillery and two farms that are no longer in use.
A proposal of application was lodged with Moray Council in January.
Members of the planning and regulatory services committee today were asked to give feedback on the proposal before a full planning application is submitted.
SNP councillor for Speyside Glenlivet Louise Nicol highlighted there were popular walking routes in the area, and raised concerns on the impact a fungus caused by ethanol in the air and is often found on trees surrounding distilleries and warehouses could have on the environment.
An online public consultation will be held on the proposal
Ms Nicol said: “There’s a lot of wildlife there, the first time I saw a badger in the wild was up there, and there’s foxes and squirrels in the area.”
The site is partly covered by the Spey Valley Special Landscape Area designation in the local development plan, and includes five entries on the local Sites and Monuments Record.
Independent councillor for Speyside Glenlivet Derek Ross said: “I have concerns about further loss of greenfield agricultural land, which in time jeopardises our food security.
“I also have concerns about the amount of lorry movements in a community like Rothes that is already a bottleneck.”
The applicants will consult with Speyside Community Council, and an online public event on the proposals will be held with a date still to be confirmed.
A planning application is expected to be submitted in the autumn.