The Princetown distillery project was approved by the Dartmoor National Park Authority at its April meeting, subject to a couple of conditions which the developers have yet to agree to formally.

They are being asked to cough up for a detailed photographic record of two existing buildings of interest but otherwise they can demolish and build as they want.

And they have to come up with funding for a better link between their site and the nearby cycle track, from which some visitors are likely to arrive when the distillery is open.

The planning office retains a right of veto over details of exterior finish, so there may be some negotiation over the dramatic ochre colour of the architect’s proposals.

And details of emissions control have to be finalised. But there is no requirement for an ultra-expensive state-of-the-art air scrubber, as some locals wanted.

Generally the committee concurred with its planning officer on the project, Louise Barattini, who said: “The proposal presents a substantial development which will have an impact on the character and appearance of this edge of the settlement, but one that will have a positive economic benefit for Princetown and its tourism and is acceptable in all other planning respects.”

There is a Dartmoor whisky already produced on a small scale at Bovey Tracey but Princetown Distillers Ltd, representing a group of investors led by a civil engineer from Ilminster and a Scottish architect, thinks it can produce and sell a lot more, by investing around £7 million and employing 22 people directly and more through the local supplies chain. However, no whisky using Blackabrook water has been made before.

The application to redevelop the heart of Princetown is for: “Construction of whisky distillery, visitor centre, small scale spirit storage, new road access and associated parking and demolition of two industrial units.”

The demolition will include the remnants of a historically notable local power station and the home of two well-known local businesses, Pressed Men, dealing in military memorabilia, and the Princetown Forge. But the Duchy of Cornwall has offered to help the occupants move and they have raised no protest.

The Plymouth Herald has a computer-generated mpression of the development at


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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.