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Glenmorangie distillery at Tain lodges plans for warehouses at former military base near Fearn in Easter Ross

By Ian Duncan

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Casks in Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain.
Casks in Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain.

AN Easter Ross distillery is hoping to build new warehouses and other facilities at a former military base near Fearn.

The Glenmorangie Company has submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) for land 700m north west of Tower View – this is a statutory requirement for full planning applications for major developments and must be lodged at least 12 weeks before the submission of a planning application.

As well as the whisky maturation warehouses the document includes a cask filling and disgorging facility, with associated tank farm, tanker filling bay, welfare facilities and a car park.

The matter was discussed by members of Highland Council's North Planning Applications Committee .

In his report Peter Wheelan, the council's acting head of development management, said the applicant had completed an online consultation which ended on Friday, November 20.

According to the consultation website the proposed site will comprise a mix of warehouses, to store whisky casks for maturation, and there will be a total of 20 warehouses constructed in a phased approach over a 10-year period.

The warehouses will have a total floor space of 2000 square metres per warehouse with a height not exceeding 11m – to access the warehouses there will be access roads within the site with drainage features to collect surface water run-off.

It is proposed that the warehouses will be constructed with steel frames and aluminium cladding with the final colour of cladding to be agreed with the council.

According to Mr Wheelan's report the proposed development would be situated on land which formed part of Fearn Aerodrome which was formerly a military base from the 1940s to the 1970s.

He said: "It is now used as a business and industrial estate and agricultural ground, with remains of the former military use/buildings still evident, including the category C(s) listed

control tower to the south."

Mr Wheelan said the site did not fall within or particularly close to any natural heritage designations and the landscape was very open with the principal visual receptors being users of the B9166 to the north which links the Seaboard Villages to the east with the village of Hill of Fearn to the west and the A9.

In his report he said: "The former uses of the site may have resulted in contamination which requires further site investigation. The site also sits within the aviation safeguard area (Civil Aviation Authority consultation area) for the nearby Easter Airfield which sits to the south of Fearn aerodrome."

Committee chairwoman councillor Maxine Morley-Smith (Cromarty Firth, Independents for Independence) said that they accepted that everything was included and the application would go on to the next stage of the planning process.

For more information visit: www.fearnconsultation.co.uk

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