At first glance, it seems a perfect way to capitalise on the global reputation of Scotch... but this is one project that isn’t going down smoothly.

A whisky giant has angered local residents with plans to open a tasting lodge for tourists in the Highlands. Bosses at Chivas Brothers want to create a new attraction at the Glenlivet Distillery so they can draw in dedicated drinkers to sample their tipples.

Under proposals submitted, the lodge would be used by groups of up to 10 at a time.

However, locals fear that the building could impact on the unspoiled night sky because of its lighting.

It comes after the Highland villages of Glenlivet and nearby Tomintoul in Moray were both recognised by the Arizona-based International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) for their stunning night-time views.

This is thanks to the Cairngorm Mountains, which blot out artificial light and allow the stars to shine amid the darkness.

The natural effect brings in tourists from far and wide. Chivas Brothers re-submitted plans last month after objections to the original ones which were put forward last year.

They have relocated the proposed lodge to a more sheltered spot. Planning documents submitted by Norr Consultants, acting on behalf of the whisky company, said: “The proposal seeks to interpret the traditional bothy in a modern and sensitive way using traditional natural materials and simple massing.

“It will have a simple slated roof with natural stone cladding and vertical timber cladding to a small outshot to the main building.”

Residents previously voiced concern about the impact of the Chivas Brothers plan on the recognition which their area has received from the IDSA.

The organisation works to “protect night from light pollution” and argues that outdoor lighting, when used indiscriminately, can “disrupt wildlife, impact human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change, and block our view of the universe”.

It also says light pollution is increasing at twice the rate of global population growth. The body has already designated 133 international dark sky places across the world and has 64 chapters operating in 18 countries.

In a letter of objection to the first lodge proposal, one neighbour wrote: “We have just spent money developing a Dark Skies area which will now be blighted by this development.

“This is a very badly thought out development considering the size and type of company involved and not very sympathetic to the landscape.”

Another said: “The area is a very sensitive one for a number of reasons, environmentally, the very principle of it being a remote area within the Cairngorms National Park and a designated Dark Sky discovery site.”

One fumed: “Part of the attraction of this area of Glenlivet relates to the Dark Sky initiative. “How is this proposal compatible?”

The firm said in response to the concerns: “An earlier application was submitted in a different location.

“This application raised extensive comments relating to the Dark Skies Park. “The current application has been amended to address the issues raised.

“The new proposals have minimised windows facing towards the official Dark Skies viewpoint and the proposed lighting specification has been specifically tailored to prevent light pollution.

“The proposals also include an enclosed Dark Skies viewpoint, which will shield lights from the adjacent public road.”

The company has also vowed to make the lodge available to the “Dark Sky community” up to four times a year.

Chivas Brothers is an internationally famous distilling firm and employs more than 1600 people across 29 sites, from Orkney to Plymouth.

Commercial operations cover 13 malt distilleries, a grain distillery, two gin distilleries, two bottling facilities and 300 warehouses containing an extensive aged inventory of more than six million casks. Its historic brand, Glenlivet Whisky, has been made in the same village in the Highlands since 1824 and is the second biggest selling single malt globally. Moray Council will determine the plans next month.