Great Northern Distillery denied planning approval for warehouses

21st February, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Ireland’s Great Northern Distillery has been refused planning permission to build a whiskey warehouse facility to support its growth.

The Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk

The Dundalk-based distillery was seeking a 10-year permission for the development of 13 whiskey warehouses in the village of Kilcurry, County Louth.

The proposal was put forward to Lough County Council in June last year but was rejected after members voted against a material contravention of the County Development Plan needed for the development to go ahead. The proposed land would need to be rezoned as industrial in order for the project to proceed.

As a result, Great Northern Distillery appealed the decision on the grounds that the facility is of “strategic economic importance to the rapidly growing Irish whiskey sector”.

The site would also “aid” the distillery’s growth and “support other small distilleries across the region who will also require maturation facilities”.

The appeal also noted “the increasing threat of Brexit”, claiming “there is a clear need to provide certainty and support to the food and beverage industry and for Ireland to be able to capitalise on potential increase in market share in the industry”.

The planning application stated that the distillery “currently produces 6.5 million litres of alcohol a year and has the potential to grow to produce 17m litres of alcohol per year”.

The proposed plans were deemed “necessary to facilitate the company’s expansion and maturation requirements”.

On 13 February, planning board An Bord Pleanála refused the development on the grounds that it would “contravene the zoning objective of the Lough County Development Plan” and would create a “discordant and obtrusive feature on the landscape at this location”. The proposal was also denied due to its location within the settlement boundary of Kilcurry.

The Spirits Business has approached Great Northern Distillery for comment.

John Teeling, founder of Cooley Distillery and father to Jack and Stephen Teeling of the Teeling Whiskey Company, bought the Great Northern Brewery in Dundalk from Diageo in 2013, with intentions to transform it into an Irish whiskey distillery.

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