PLANNERS have refused proposals for a Highland home because it would increase traffic – above one vehicle every two hours.
Glen Wyvis distillery, near Dingwall , wants to construct an on-site house for its manager in common with other whisky makers in Scotland.
But the council planning committee say the manager’s motor poses a significant traffic danger – on a road that currently records just 13 journeys a day.
The decision has come despite local people giving no objections to the plans, and welcoming the employment opportunities the distillery would bring.
The former police area commander behind the scheme has said he is “baffled” by the ruling and vowed to fight it.
Highland Council has given permission for the distillery but opposed the four-bedroomed house for the distillery master.
Area Planning Manager Dorothy Stott stated: “Transport Planning objects to the application on road safety grounds, due to the increase on traffic at an access onto the public road where there is a significant shortfall in visibility.
“The traffic count taken for the previous application showed that the existing average volume of traffic is 13 vehicles per day.
“The average traffic movement generated by a single house is around 5 movements per day. This represents an average increase of around 38% and is judged significant.”
David O’Connor, director of the Glen Wyvis Distillery, which is due to open next year, said: “Every other distillery in Scotland has a house for the master. For health and safety on-site, it’s essential.”
He added: “I’m a former policeman who served for 31 years, road safety was a clear part of my remit. I’m baffled.
“It seemed more like politics, because we didn’t put the application for the house originally with the distillery.”
Mr O’Connor said they hoped to overturn the decision and advertise for the manager’s job in December.
Local community councillors expressed no objections to the plans.
Minutes from the council meeting state: “The Community Council is supportive of the four elements of the proposed distillery development.
“The general consensus was that they are good for the town, will provide employment opportunities (albeit perhaps not many), and that the business will enhance those already available in and around the town.”