Drinks giant eyes up Cluny opencast site

Diageo: Sales up by three per cent thanks to whisky strategy. Picture: Dan Phillips
Diageo: Sales up by three per cent thanks to whisky strategy. Picture: Dan Phillips

TOWNSFOLK are being invited to a public exhibition to hear more about plans by a Fife drinks company to develop storage facilities at the former open-cast coal site in Cluny.

Global firm Diageo, based in Leven, has applied for planning permission to build warehouses at Begg Farm as part of the company’s ongoing expansion.

It’s understood the development would feature 46 warehouses being built over five years to store whisky.

It is hoped that if the scheme gets the go ahead, it could provide a much-needed jobs boost for the local area.

All residents in Cluny are to be notified about the development and a public exhibition will be hosted by the company on Monday at the Corrie Centre in Carden Avenue, Cardenden between 2.00 and 9.00 p.m.

Councillor Ian Chisholm, who is one of the local members who represents Cardenden, said there are many pros and cons to the project which need to be explored thoroughly.

He said: “The public will have an important role to play, as my understanding is the application is at variance with the newly adopted Mid Fife Local Plan.

‘‘As the land use proposed is not commensurate with the Local Plan we need to have a departure hearing to see if the public and elected members agree to proceed.”

Investment

David Taylor, secretary of Cardenden Community Council, said: “These plans could bring investment and hopefully create local jobs. But the development is contrary to the Local Plan and this is a hurdle we will have to cross first.”

Richard Bedford, Diageo’s Grain Distilling Director, said: “We believe our proposal for warehousing at Begg Farm offers a fantastic opportunity to create a highly effective and efficient hub for the production, maturation and bottling of Scotch whisky.

‘‘This would also represent a significant investment in the Fife economy building on the major investments Diageo has already made to expand Cameronbridge and Leven, creating new direct and indirect employment in the area.

‘‘We are already engaging locally on the detail of our proposals and will submit our full planning application to Fife Council.

‘‘We look forward to working with local people, and would encourage them to come along to our public consultation where they can learn more and inform us of their views.”