Earlier this year, in January to be precise, plans were revealed for a new distillery on Islay, roughly between Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain, at Ardnahoe. Today Argyll and Bute council announced that planning permission has been granted to the applicants which means that construction of Ardnahoe distillery will commence anytime soon.
The council writes: "The proposal will deliver sustainable economic development within an ‘economically fragile area’ in a manner which, notwithstanding the concerns expressed by third parties, will not give rise to any unacceptable, or significant adverse effect upon the receiving environment. As well as the distillery itself, there are a number of additional benefits. The whisky industry supports a range of other businesses, such as haulage firms, who take the product round the country and even overseas." Continue reading...
"With 200,000 litres of whisky being produced every year this will mean more work for local transport firms, which is obviously fantastic news. The visitor centre is a welcome addition to the scheme, supporting another business area – tourism. On an established whisky trail, we would hope the new facility brings in even more visitors. It’s great to see another distillery being built on Islay."
After reading the planning permission documents, typically something one does on a rainy day such as today, I found out that prior to the start of the construction the council requires some road improvements. The council writes: "The scheme of road improvements shall provide for the formation of 5 additional passing places capable of accommodating HGV traffic, enhancement of existing passing places where practicable, and improvement of sightlines to two blind bends."
We will follow the developments and construction closely and will try to bring regular updates on our blog with news and pictures of the progress. It might be early days yet but I can imagine a footpath being built between Port Askaig and Bunnahabhain connecting the three distilleries in the same way as the new distilleries path connecting the three Kildalton distilleries near Port Ellen.
The press release and related planning permission documents are available through the A&B council website