Approval likely for Bushmills expansion project
The planned development of 29 new warehouses along with maturation facilities by Old Bushmills Distillery looks set to get the nod when it goes before the planning committee at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council later this month, but officials have recommended that 29 conditions be attached to approval of the controversial scheme.
More than 100 objections to the development have now been lodged, many of them expressing concern over the environmental impact of the planned upgrades.
Planning officials have recommended that councillors approve the plan, which also includes the construction of a fire water retention lagoon, a sprinkler pump house, tanks, landscaping and a new access road.
Also, however, they have said that, among other things, the approval should be contingent on an undertaking to phase in the new work so that it integrates well with the surrounding environment.
Bushmills already has 20 warehouses at its north coast distillery, but it needs the new facilities not only for its current produce – around 16 million litres per year – but also, to store product from a new distillery which has already been given outline planning permission. An application for full approval was lodged in July.
Planning officials said that given the rate of expansion at the plant, which is owned by Mexican drinks giant, Jose Cuervo, they considered the proposed expansion to be reasonable and agreed that the proposals would make a “significant contribution” to the local economy. They also found that the environmental impact of the plan was “acceptable”.
When the council meets on August 21, members will decide whether or not to ratify the recommendations of the planners.