New distillery targets tourists

IT will be whisky galore for tourists in Falkirk when a new distillery opens.

The Falkirk Distillery Company, headed up by brother and sister team Fiona and Alan Stewart, has been granted permission to create a 5 million distillery, bonded warehouse, visitor centre, retail units and 80-seater restaurant at Cadgers Brae in Polmont.

Falkirk Council's planning committee heard there had been 71 letters in support of the plans, with three letters of objection. An objection from Scottish Power was withdrawn. Concerns had been raised about road safety in the area, and about the proximity of the site to the Antonine

Wall.

A contribution of up to 33,000 will have to be paid by the developer to upgrade the nearby junctions.

Committee convener Councillor Billy Buchanan moved to grant the application yesterday (Wednesday).

He said: "This development will create 87 jobs as well as sustainable tourism for the area. It will be an asset for the district."

Councillor Craig Martin said: "This is extremely exciting, when you think about Falkirk having the chance to have something like this on our doorsteps.

"If you look at the area surrounding this site, a nice little gateway into Falkirk has been created.

"At the site visit, I thought the presentation from the applicant about the proximity of the Antonine Wall was very good. And, when you look 200 yards up the road, closer to where the wall is thought to have been, there are other developments.

"This is all good news for Falkirk, not just in terms of jobs, but because it will create a facility which can be used by both local people and tourists."

However, local member Malcolm Nicol moved the application should be refused.

He said: "This proposal is something which we should be happy to see coming to the Falkirk area. However, that doesn't mean we should overlook the road safety concerns which I feel have not yet been fully addressed.

"While I welcome the proposals to improve the junction, I think more should be done, and when it comes to road safety, I would prefer to err on the side of caution."

Members of the committee voted 7-2 in favour of granting the application.