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Elgin whisky shop changes approved as part of multi-million pound transformation, access track upgrade near controversial windfarm and Speyside town’s heritage trail needs signs

Changes approved at Elgin South Street shop.  Image: Design team/ DC Thomson
Changes approved at Elgin South Street shop. Image: Design team/ DC Thomson

Welcome to our weekly update on planning applications reviewed by Moray Council.

The council has approved a new office for one distillery and added new toilets near the tasting room for visitors at another.

Aberlour could get a heritage trail.

Additionally, there are proposed upgrades to an access track near a controversial wind farm.

We’ll start with approved plans to make changes to an Elgin town centre shop as part of a multi-million-pound project.

Learn more about each of these applications below.

APPROVED: Changes to Elgin whisky store

Back in December, we revealed whisky specialists Gordon and MacPhail’s plans to transform their South Street shop into a whisky experience.

On Monday, the approval was given to reinstate the two doorways, remove the ramp to South Street, level the pavement, and make internal changes.

Gordon and MacPhail will transform their Elgin town centre shop on South Street into tourist attraction. Image: Gordon and MacPhail

Displays, tasting rooms and a liquid library of some of the world’s rarest whiskies will feature in the multi-million pound makeover.

SUBMITTED: Heritage trail

The Aberlour Community Association has applied to put up seven signs in the Speyside town as part of a heritage trail.

The group aims to honour those who contributed to the town’s growth since 1812.

Aberlour Square.

The trail is expected to serve as a tool for locals to learn about their town’s history and for visitors to spend more time in town, thereby boosting the local businesses.

The signs, with QR codes, will lead to a website with audio and visual stories in manhy languages, giving information on how each building was built and funded.

SUBMITTED: Upgrade works to access track near windfarm

Energiekontor plans to upgrade the southbound access track near the A920 that leads to the Garbet windfarm.

A proposal for a new entrance has been made to provide vehicles with enough turning space and minimize disruption to the nearby Haugh of Glass community.

Bosses think a larger working area for road upgrades will reduce environmental harm.

Why has this windfarm sparked fury?

Last September, Scottish Government ministers overturned councillors’ refusal of the seven turbine wind farm application near Dufftown.

At the time of the decision, Speyside councillor Derek Ross accused the Scottish Government of “riding roughshod over local democracy”.

Councilor Derek Ross pictured near some turbines
Councillor Derek Ross is furious after the planning application for the yet to be built windfarm near Dufftown was approved by the Scottish Government Reporter.

In November 2021, councillors rejected Garbet wind farm, around 3.5 miles south-east of Dufftown.

Members of the planning committee voted against the seven-turbine wind farm application by eight to three at a meeting.

Two people abstained.

Officers had recommended to approve the proposal subject to conditions.

Map of where windfarm will be.

They said it was an acceptable departure from the local development plan.

Councillors stressed that the visual and environmental impact of the 623ft turbines and associated infrastructure was too great.

However, the Scottish Government upheld an appeal from Energiekontor, and granted planning permission.

An illustration of what the existing and proposed Cabrach windfarms could look like
Former architect and business owner Colin Mackenzie warns landscape around Auchindoun Castle under attack from Cabrach windfarms. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson

Meanwhile, last year, former architect Colin MacKenzie warned the stunning landscape around the Cabrach is under attack as the number of turbines could rise to 148.

APPROVED: New office for Tamdhu distillery

Plans to demolish the existing office building to make way for a new office at Tamdhu Distillery have been approved.

Tamdhu Distillery is a single malt Scotch Speyside whisky distillery in the village of Knockando.

Drawing impression of the new office at Tamdhu Distillery. Image: Ken Mathieson Architectural Design Limited.

The distillery has been operating for 125 years.

Ken Mathieson Architectural Design Limited represented Ian MacLeod Distillers Limited in the planning application.

Tamdhu Distillery. Image: DC Thomson.

APPROVED: Loos for Glenallachie tasting room

The GlenAllachie distillery.
The GlenAllachie distillery.

An extension will be built for toilet facilities to the tasting room at the Glenallachie Distillery.

The malt whisky distillery on Speyside at the foot of Ben Rinnes was founded in 1967.

Previously, Glenallachie mainly produced whisky for blends.

Now it is known for its single malts.

Grant and Geoghegan represented Glenallachie, near Aberlour, in the application.


Layout for toilet facilities for Glenallachie Distillery.

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

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