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Wi-Fi for Dufftown clocktower, modern floodlights for Forres Mechanics and changes at Speyside distillery

Wi-Fi for Dufftown clocktower. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson
Wi-Fi for Dufftown clocktower. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Welcome to our regular look at the latest planning applications in Moray.

Officials have approved plans to demolish facilities to make way for a new bunded tank at Speyside distillery.

Meanwhile, consent has been renewed to build a temporary building at a private school in Forres with links to Hollywood.

Elsewhere, the Dufftown Community Association is looking to install Wi-Fi at the town’s clocktower.

And there are plans for new floodlights for Forres Mechanics.

More details on each of these applications below.

SUBMITTED: Wi-Fi for Dufftown clocktower

Dufftown Community Association is seeking to install Wi-fi at the town’s clocktower.

The group officially took over ownership of the town’s famed clocktower in March 2020.

The tower was purchased from Moray Council’s Common Good Fund with the aim of restoring the landmark.

Two non-permanent access points are proposed to be installed on the top floor behind two of the clockfaces.

The application has been submitted by the association’s full-time community development leader Viktoria Eriksson.

Dufftown clocktower. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

What is the Dufftown clocktower project?

In the past 50 years, the building has been left empty and began to fall into disrepair.

The Press and Journal previously revealed that talks were taking place about the potential transformation of the clocktower into a museum.

Chairman Fraser McGill previously told us: “The clock tower is clearly a building that is dear to everybody’s heart and to see it be a vocal point for future generations to come would be pleasing for everyone involved.”

Work is still ongoing on the overall project.

SUBMITTED: New floodlights for Forres Mechanics

Forres Mechanics is looking to replace their floodlights which are at the end of their useful life at Mosset Park.

The current pylons have been in place since the late 1980s.

The Highland League side wants to replace the existing floodlights with a modern low energy 300 LUX system.

Mosset Park, Forres. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

If approved, four 15m steel columns will be installed each with new energy saving LED floodlights.

Forres bosses believe the move to the new system would future proof the club against further enhancement of the SFA licensing requirements.

Image to illustrate what the new floodlights could look like.

This new system would maintain the requirement to provide a minimum light level of 200 LUX on the pitch after dusk to allow a safe level of play for the players and a safe environment for the spectators.

New power cabling and control equipment will also be installed.

Crowdfunding campaign to buy new floodlights

Meanwhile, a crowd-funder has been launched to raise £90,000 to replace the floodlights.

As well as applying for grants, the Can-Cans have a number of fundraising initiatives organised in the coming months

Mosset Park director David MacKintosh has said any donations would be “greatly appreciated” to help them secure the floodlights needed.

Donations can be made here.

SUBMITTED: Elgin distillery plans to extend house

Coleburn Distillery near Elgin wants to extend the Manager’s House to form a ground floor lounge and a separate dining room.

At first floor level, Dale and Mark Winchester would like to form a family room with a balcony to enjoy views to the east.

The brothers who own the 19th century distillery, which is near Fogwatt south of Elgin, are also looking to relocate their external shed and garage which has fallen into disrepair.

It will provide room for the extension.

Managers house at the Coleburn Distillery.

They also hope to relocate the ground floor office to the external outbuilding.

Meanwhile, the distillery owners have wanted to create a whisky shop and cafe for more than a decade.

Here are impressions of proposed changes at Manager’s House:

APPROVED: Private school with links to Hollywood

Temporary consent has been renewed to build a temporary building at a private school in Forres with links to Hollywood.

The building at Drumduan School on Clovenside Road will contain two classrooms, reception office and staff area.

It is a Steiner school which follows the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, who was born in Croatia in 1861, which involves developing pupils’ artistic and practical skills through creativity without any formal exams.

Drumduan School

In 2019, the school avoided having to shut its doors after a late rescue bid.

It was threatened with closure amid concerns about crippling debts, which left it struggling to pay staff and bills.

But families launched an online fundraising campaign in order to raise the £36,000 which was required to keep the Steiner-inspired classrooms open.

Our front page about campaign to save Drumduan School.

Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton became involved with the school in 2013, but resigned as a director in April 2019 – just months after appealing directly to the Scottish Government’s education secretary John Swinney for support.

Emergency talks were held by the school’s Friends, Teachers and Parents Association (FTPA) where a funding package from Findhorn-based Ekopia Social Investments was discussed and accepted.

APPROVED: Changes at Speyside distillery

Plans to demolish existing bunded tanks, chemical store and substation to make way for a new bunded tank farm at Speyside distillery have been approved.

Blyth & Blyth Consulting Engineers had lodged the application on behalf of Chivas for the Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery, Glenrinnes.

Allt-a-Bhainne Distillery.

Allt-a-Bhainne was founded in 1975 by Chivas, then a subsidiary of Seagram and later, as of 2001, of drinks giant Pernod Ricard.

The distillery was built to ensure a steady supply of whisky for Chivas’ blended products.

A new bunded tank farm and dedicated loading bays will be erected within the rear service yard.

The construction of an internal road will also take place.

This will allow the distillery to implement a one way traffic flow for process HGVs eliminating the requirement for reversing movements on site.

See the new bunded tank farm layout:

Tank site layout.

APPROVED: New Roseisle house

A house and detached garage will be built at a farm.

The plans are for plot one at Wester Buthill Farm, Roseisle.

Drawing impression for home for Wester Buthill Farm.

Also, the siting of a temporary caravan will take place during the build.

Grant and Geoghegan Limited represented Mr and Mrs John and Jackie Vert.

Wester Buthill Farm.

Wester Buthill is a productive arable farm, which extends to about 415 acres.

Over the past three years the arable land has been in spring barley with some land let to a local contractor for potatoes and carrots.

Floor plan for home at Wester Buthill Farm .

Further planning applications can be viewed using Moray Council’s portal.

Spotted any plans you think we should know about? Get in touch at