Plans for Penderyn whisky distillery in Llandudno approved by councillors despite objections
Plans to build a whisky distillery as “rare as Welsh gold” in the heart of a seaside town have been approved by councillors, despite objections.
Penderyn whisky will be made at the Grade II listed Old Board School on Lloyd Street, Llandudno, with the help of £1.4m of Welsh Government funding.
It will also house a visitor and meeting centre, plus parking for 53 vehicles – and they hope it will be open as early as next year.
At Conwy council’s planning committee on Wednesday, the first ever remote meeting to be publicly broadcast by the authority, councillors rubber-stamped the development.
They also approved listed building consent to allow the 138 year-old site to be revamped.
However there had been local opposition to the project, with fears over what Councillor Nigel Smith called a “chemical plant” being situated in a residential area.
Neil Quigley, speaking for the applicants, called it a “boutique distillery” as “rare and precious as Welsh gold”.
Objections to the planning application centred on smells produced by the distilling process, flammable ethanol emissions, traffic from delivery lorries and “whisky fungus” – a black fungus that grows when ethanol is released into the atmosphere.
However planning officers said these issues had been addressed during the consultation process.
Charles McTear, a resident who spoke against the proposal, told the meeting: “Distilleries give off smells. There’s no guaranteed way of preventing this.
“How can it even be contemplated to have a factory with an industrial process smack, band in a residential area?”
Cllr Smith, who was the lone dissenter against the plan, added: “I’m rather concerned at not only a visitor centre, but a chemical plant right in the middle of a built up area.
“We are in danger of riding roughshod over the residents. I wonder whether there are more rural sites within the county – other sites that are more suited to an industrial chemical process.”
Mr Quigley, speaking on behalf of the applicants, added: “This a development of a boutique distillery. Such distilleries are more and more common.
“This will be a unique attraction from an iconic brand.”
Mostyn ward councillor Pat Hebron said there were “strong concerns” from local residents and 21 objections had been lodged.
The building dates from 1882, later became the Conwy Archives, and the plans have received the stamp of approval from Lord Elis-Thomas, Welsh Government’s deputy minister for culture, sport and tourism.
Councillors voted 12 to one to approve the project.
By Jez Hemming – Local Democracy Reporter
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email firstname.lastname@example.org