Planners ‘should have consulted with residents’ over Distillery

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PLANNERS have been accused of not consulting with residents over development at the Old Bushmills Distillery.

The Planning Service told councillors in Moyle they were giving the go-ahead to an application to expand the famous distillery, including two additional warehouses for the storage of whiskey plus associated firewater pumphouse and tanks.

The work is set to be carried out at a field adjacent to the Straid Road.

Three objection letters were received by the Planning Service.

DUP councillor Robert McIlroy, who lives in Bushmills, told last Monday’s meeting:

“I have had some residents of Straid Road speak to me about this planning application.

“While nobody is against the expansion of Bushmills Distillery I think there are a few residents adjacent to the property who feel very aggrieved there has been no consultation with them.

“They fail to understand why the planning department doesn’t have them on their register to consult with.

“This is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

“What people are saying to me is, yes, they are glad the expansion is taking place, but be more sensitive to what you are allowing. People on the Straid Road are asking for consultation.

“They are saying planning is not being very sensitive to the needs of the people.”

A representative of the Planning Service told the meeting:

“There has been considerable consideration of this application.

“The proposal before you tonight has been considerably changed from what they had originally wanted.”

The meeting was told the ground floor would be sunk by five metres.

Some councillors raised concerns about previous problems with light reflecting off roofs and affecting motorists travelling nearby.

DUP councillor Davy McAllister said: “I think we should all welcome this and hopefully it will bring more employment to the area.”