Thursday, October 01, 2009

Locals in uproar over plans to take away Auld Reekie's distinctive smell


ANGRY locals in Edinburgh are up in arms over plans to snuff out their neighbourhood's famous smell.
The distinctive scent of roasted malt from the North British Distillery has hung over the Gorgie area of the capital for more than a century.
But now bosses and green watchdogs are set to banish it to history by building a 100ft "odour control tower" at the site.
Managers at the distillery say they want to improve the environment. But Gorgie residents who have grown up with the malt smell are calling on them to think again.
Security guard Brian Kidd, 29, said: "It's a good smell and it's part of the city. I'd like to see a campaign to save it."
Students Karen Lindsay and Kim Mills, 17, both reckoned the distillery could find better things to do with their cash.
Karen said: "I quite like the smell. A tower would be a real waste of money."
Kim added: "It's nice that the city has its own smell."
Another Gorgie student, Debbie Campbell, 23, said: "If you drive past the biscuit factory up at Sighthill, you would smell biscuits, wouldn't you? So what do they expect from a distillery?" Strategy And local lollipop man John Garden, 61, said he'd miss the smell after more than 25 years in Gorgie. "I find it quite pleasant," he insisted.
But distillery managers were not budging last night.
Company secretary Ian Ford said of the tower: "This is just one part of an overall strategy to reduce our impact on the local environment, as we are a major industrial unit close to the city centre."
Owen Foster of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, who have helped the distillery come up with the towner plan, added: "The planning application is part of ongoing improvement works to control and mitigate odour, which have been the subject of previous and ongoing discussions between the site operators and SEPA."
The North British Distillery supplies raw whisky for famous brands including J&B Rare, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Famous Grouse.
The plant produces 10 bottles of whisky every second and uses 150,000 tons of cerealeach year.Thesitehas 100 staff.
The distillery was set up in 1885 when the Gorgie area was still being built.

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