Plans for a new operations centre for a whisky auction firm have been approved.
Whisky Hammer had submitted proposals to Aberdeenshire Council for a new storage and distribution facility at the former Allathan Quarry at Udny.
Members of the Formartine area committee approved the development at its meeting yesterday, despite the plans originally being recommended for refusal.
The decision comes after councillors visited the site to see the land where the centre would be built, prior to the meeting starting.
A decision on the whisky facility had been deferred from the previous meeting.
One of the reasons the plan was recommended for refusal was that officers said land at the former quarry had been “naturalised” and a development on the site would be against council policy.
The founder of Whisky Hammer, Daniel Milne, spoke at the council meeting and told councillors they had looked at several sites across Aberdeenshire and were to turn the new base into a tourist spot.
He said: “Since being founded in 2015, we are proud to have seven members of staff, and with this we would be looking to take on more staff. It is an incredible site.
“The type of whisky we will have in our facility is like no other in Aberdeenshire.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Speaking at the meeting: Councillor Jim Gifford said: “I found the site visit to be very helpful.
“I believe this will be a good facility and in a good location and, on balance, I would put forward a motion that this be approved under a delegated grant.”
Councillor Andrew Hassan seconded the motion.
He said: “This is a business that we should be supporting in rural Aberdeenshire.
“I think this is an acceptable departure from council policy.”
There was no amendment put forward by other members of the committee so the motion by Mr Gifford was approved.
Allathan Quarry is believed to have been operational from at least 1843, ceasing operations between the 1950s and 1960s.