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Turriff distillery plans to be heard by councillors

By David Porter

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Yonderton Farm at Fintry could become the site of a major new tourist attraction in the north-east.
Yonderton Farm at Fintry could become the site of a major new tourist attraction in the north-east.

Plans to convert a north-east farm site into what could become a major new tourist attraction which were submitted to Aberdeenshire Council in September last year are to be considered by councillors at the Banff and Buchan area committee next week.

In what potentially could be a coup for the Turriff area, extensive plans have been created for the conversion of the farm buildings at Yonderton, which sit just off the B9105 to the north-west of Craigston Castle, into an on-site distillery which is now expected to create between five and ten jobs in the sector.

Agents Mantell Ritchie, on behalf of applicant Wilson Strachan, have used the existing footprint of the farm site and the buildings, which are already situated within the farm’s confines, to form the main body of the distillery.

Site plans show the use of two stills housed within a traditional pagoda-roofed building, which will be located beside a glass-fronted still room.

Adjacent to this are two bonded warehouses which reuse two of the existing farm structures, which would in turn be refinished into an overall uniform look.

A further existing building at the farm would be converted into a malt house and the four buildings joined together in an innovative use of space into one single distillery building.

With tourism in mind, plans also involve the demolition of a disused cottage which sits adjacent to the main farm site into a new visitor centre.

This would provide a further draw to the distillery and plans indicate the provision of a bar, small restaurant with servery and a specially-created tasting area.

Planners have recommended the approval of the application, noting that while the overall scale of the proposal is larger than that normally considered acceptable in a rural location for a business, the circumstances mitigate this.

Conditions also include the provision of upgrades to the nearby road to allow for expected increases in traffic.

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