Venue: By Skype
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
An apology for absence was received from Councillor Sandy Taylor.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Alastair Redman declared a non-financial interest in planning application reference 19/02555/PP. He advised that this had been a contentious issue which had come up at various meetings and surgeries and he felt it was only fair that he take no part in the determination of this application. He left the meeting at this point.
SPECIALITY DRINKS LIMITED: ERECTION OF DISTILLERY WITH ASSOCIATED MALTINGS, AND VAULTED MATURATION WAREHOUSE, VISITOR'S CENTRE WITH SHOP, RESTAURANT AND MEETING FACILITIES, TASTING LODGE AND ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDING: SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT AND PUMPING STATION, NEW JUNCTION, ACCESS ROADS, CAR PARKING, TANK FARMS, SUDS POND, RESERVOIR AND SEA WATER INTAKE: LAND SOUTH AND EAST OF FARKIN COTTAGE, PORT ELLEN (REF: 19/02555/PP) PDF 1 MB
Report by Head of Development and Economic Growth
The Chair welcomed everyone to the hearing which was being held on a virtual basis in light of government guidance and Coronavirus legislation on public gatherings in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the purposes of the sederunt, Mr Jackson, Clerk to the Committee today, read out the names of the Members of the Committee and asked them to confirm their attendance.
In advance of the meeting today interested parties confirmed that they would make presentations to the Committee. Mr Jackson read out the names of those representatives and asked them to confirm their attendance.
The Chair, having explained the hearing procedure that would be followed, invited the Planning Officer to present the case.
David Love, Area Team Leader presented the application as follows gave the on behalf of the Head of Development and Economic Growth.
Good morning Members. You will recall this proposal was originally heard at the May meeting of the PPSL committee. At that meeting it was agreed that Members would endorse the associated Area Capacity Evaluation. Given the status of the ACE having been approved I have not revisited it in this presentation. However, I have managed to pull together what I hope is a comprehensive familiarisation presentation.
I would like to appraise the committee of a late representation received on Friday afternoon. Mr Andrew Campbell submitted comments directly to me. Given the lateness of this submission I was not able to provide a further supplementary report for Members however I can confirm that it does not raise any new material considerations and that its contents have already been addressed across the original report of handling and the supplementary report. In order to give this representation a fair opportunity for discussion I shall read its contents for consideration prior to starting the familiarisation exercise.
Dear Mr Love,
I am writing to lodge my objections to the plans which have been submitted for the distillery and associated buildings and business at Farkin on our Isle of Islay.
The basis of my objections are.
- Islay is already well served by distilleries and whilst I would not object to any new distilleries on the island, any such distilleries should add to the reputation of the island and not so blatantly seem to exploit such a reputation.
- The scale of the development represents a more impactful industrial scale which is out of kilter with the style of other commercial operations on the island
- Whilst employment opportunities are usually an attraction, there is currently full employment on the island and with housing and education under pressure it is unclear how additional workers could be accommodated. There must be many other rural locations in Scotland which would benefit from this additional employment opportunity.
- The environmental impact on a beautiful area of the Island which will be a clear to those arriving on the ferry.
- The required level of water supply will be a challenge to provide without significant disruption to the natural environment
In summary, this is a development that is not needed and one which will likely have a negative impact on the character, environment and resources on one of Scotland’s most precious assets.
It is considered that these comments have already been addressed by officers and do not require further consideration.
If the committee is happy with this view then I shall proceed with the site familiarisation slides.
Members will have received a PDF map as shown on the screen. I apologise for not highlighting the actual site itself but it is where the number 4 is shown. The numbers indicate the location of photographs and you may wish to keep it handy to orientate yourself with the pictures as they appear on screen. However, I can always skip back to this map on request.
Before getting into the photographs I thought it important to provide an aerial image showing Port Ellen and the road to Ardbeg. The site is located here. For those not familiar with the island this is Port Ellen where the ferry usually arrives. It is one of two main transport hubs on the island. The other is at Port Askaig to the north. Port Ellen Distillery is here which is under redevelopment. This area is the maltings. You can see the coastal edge and the Laphroaig distillery complex and buildings. You can see the field management system. It is largely grazed. The three distilleries footpath runs along the road. This area is Port Ellen Primary School. The reservoir would be in this location here.
Slide 4 – photo 1
My first photo is taken from within Port Ellen as you leave the town travelling east. This gives you an impression of the edge of the settlement. Port Ellen Primary School is off picture to the right. The edge of the settlement is approximately here.
Slide 5 – photo 2
As you travel past the primary school immediately adjacent you have a multi use games area and you leave the restricted speed limit of the town. I am standing on the three distilleries footpath. You can get an impression of the rock features along to the left and the drumlins that cover the site. These are semi constant features along the coast. Field boundaries tend to be dry stone walling and post and wire fences. You can see the telegraph poles and wires that dot the landscape.
Slide 6 – photo 3
This is a close up shot looking across the site. You can see the landscape features here as previously described. The field boundaries, telegraph poles. This track leads down to some Scottish Water infrastructure and a rough path that leads back in Port Ellen.
Slide 7 – photo 4
Just to assist this image is actually further away from the site looking in the same direction. You can see the landscape features previously mentioned.
Slide 8 – photo 5
Members will note on the map that there is a track leading north ... view the full minutes text for item 3.