THE owners of the Girvan Distillery have lodged an application to create an extension to the current premises.

William Grant & Sons has applied for the construction of a heat generation plant, including fuel storage silo, building to house furnace, boiler and electrical controls, a chimney and emission control equipment – the proposed development would convert fibrous biomass by-product from the anaerobic digester facility into heat energy (steam and hot water) for the distillery.

The application site would sit east of Ladywell Avenue, with the nearest residential area located 300m to the south and east of the site boundary and Girvan being the closest town starts approximately just over one mile from the site boundary.

In a supporting statement, the applicant explained: “The facility in Girvan is the largest in Scotland and provides significant employment in the local area.

“This proposal is a natural development of that process to use the remaining by-product to make heat, thus increasing the renewable fuel available to the gas grid, and reducing the product transported off site. 

“The design of this proposal would have significant environmental benefits and would target the low carbon manufacturing economy and this development is predicted to have economic impacts of reducing the distillery’s production dependence on gas production and increasing operating efficiency of the distillery.”

Despite the new thermal energy plant being located in an area that has previously produced ‘important archaeological material’, it is understood that the West of Scotland Archaeology Service believe that it would be ‘unlikely’ that the development would ‘raise substantive archaeological issue’ due to the new structures being built on ground that has already been ‘subject to archaeological fieldwork’.

The planning application can be found on the South Ayrshire Council’s website.