THE Glenlivet Distillery is set to triple production after a planning permission for its expansion was granted.

Chivas Brothers, who own the Glenlivet Distillery in Moray, had applied to the Cairngorms National Park Authorityfor permission to build a new processing facility and various other alterations and improvements at the Glenlivet site.

As well as increasing production, the developments will create 13 additional permanent jobs.

The planning application includes a new processing building to house distilling operations, a new tank and equipment area, groundworks and landscaping, a replacement bioplant, new pipework, new site access, alterations to the existing feed plant and new surface water arrangements.

Planning Committee member Duncan Bryden said: "The economic importance of this proposal is of national significance as well as locally.

"Whisky is a major economic driver for Scotland with brands known the world over and it supports many jobs -- often in rural areas like this."

Planning Officer Katherine Donnachie, who outlined the proposals to members, said the "major application" had been subject to consultation with the community, and concerns raised in relation to the roads round about the distillery and impacts on the River Livet.

She added: "Planning conditions have been attached to the consent with regards to details of discharge and abstractions at the River Livet and to ensure that measures are taken to protect European protected species.

"The applicant has also agreed to improve the C57H road which leads to the distillery before production starts and have agreed to make a financial contribution towards improvements to the B9008 in the future when phase two of their development gets underway."