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Scottish brewery Brewdog hits out at Aberdeenshire Council in land-price dispute

DBR Staff Writer Published 16 January 2017

Craft beer maker BrewDog has found itself in a controversy with the Aberdeenshire Council in Scotland over the cost of acquiring a land for an expansion move.

The global brewery and pub chain revealed its plans to construct a distillery and a hotel at an investment of £5m which it said would open up 80 job opportunities.

BrewDog further detailed, stating that it also intended to have an outstanding restaurant and conference centre to go along with the distillery and hotel behind its Ellon brewery.

BrewDog is claiming that the Aberdeenshire Council is quoting 60 times the fair market price for the piece of land.

The company accused the council of deflating its plans to grow its business which in turn would provide locals with more job openings.

While BrewDog had the land estimated at £5,000 per acre, it alleged that the council had quoted £300,000 per acre instead.

A statement in the craft beer producer’s blog read: “On the 12th of May 2016 we had the land valued at £5,000 per acre by established and respected surveyor, DM Hall. We submitted our plans to the council for the distillery and hotel. They demanded £300,000 per acre from us.

“Over 60 times what an independent surveyor valued the land at. We have spoken with the Council several times since, but they will not budge. We want to invest in our local area and create much needed jobs yet the Council insist on making it impossible for us to do so.”

Aberdeenshire Council though has hit back at BrewDog’s allegations, saying that its responsibility was to make sure that they provide best value for public money.

Aberdeenshire Council chief executive Jim Savege said: “There are on-going protracted negotiations with BrewDog and this announcement appears to be intended to weaken the council’s position.

“We’re disappointed that the company has sought to break confidentiality during what we regarded as live and on-going discussions to achieve an agreement which is fair to both parties and which protects the interests of the local taxpayer, as well as creating opportunities for residents.”

It was further revealed by the council that the land that BrewDog was eyeing was already earmarked for the expansion of a cemetery.

Image: BrewDog and the Aberdeenshire Council are at odds over the cost of a land in Ellon, Scotland. Photo: courtesy of BrewDog.