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Distillery opening times bid refused

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By Fiona Reid
Moffat
Distillery opening times bid refused

A REQUEST by the Dark Sky Distillery in Moffat to extend their opening hours has been refused.

The venue wanted to have the option to open from 8 am to midnight when an event or ‘business need’ required it.

They had stressed it was not their intention to open at all hours and had pledged to be respectful of their residential neighbours.

Their bid was initially turned down by planning officials so it then went before councillors last week on appeal.

However, they also refused it on the grounds that it went against parts of the Dumfries and Galloway Local Plan.

In particular, they highlighted that opening the premises to visiting members of the public from 8 am until 11.59 pm daily would be detrimental to the amenity of the surrounding area.

Elected members were concerned about increasing late night activity, traffic and noise in a quiet residential area at the edge of Moffat.

They also felt the change would result in the function and use of the building no longer being in accordance with the description and use defined in their planning permission.

However, they were open to a revised application by the distillery.

Annandale North Councillor Stephen Thompson said: “I have sympathy with what the applicant is trying to do here.

“In terms of the sector, distilleries have seasonal opening arrangements. There’s an opportunity for them to come back with a more specific application. Clearly there’s an interest in developing the business, particularly during the summer months for tourism and with a more nuanced application we could be more sympathetic to that. The case could be made to vary the hours with the season.”

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