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Row over cost of land

Brewer offers deal to settle dispute with council

James WattScottish craft brewer BrewDog has offered a compromise to settle a dispute with Aberdeenshire Council over the sale of land to expand its facilities.

BrewDog wants to build a hotel, restaurant and conference facility next to its brewery in Ellon.

But it claims the local authority is demanding a price for the land well above market value.

The brewer said the land was independently valued at £5,000 per acre in May 2016 but that the council is demanding £300,000 per acre following a valuation by DH Hall.

On its website, BrewDog said: “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.”

Tonight, the brewer’s co-founder James Watt (pictured) offered a deal to resolve the dispute. In a tweet, he said: “Aberdeenshire Council. I am willing to pay double what DH Hall valued the land at to make sure these jobs stay in Ellon. Deal?”

James Watt tweet
Earlier, Jim Savege, chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We are a proactive council with a commitment to working with local businesses. We also have a responsibility to ensure best value for public money.
“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 creting opportunities for residents.

“At the heart of this is issue is that the land BrewDog wants has been already earmarked for the expansion of the local cemetery. We cannot sell land vastly below market value – the figure BrewDog has been asked to meet is what the land is worth right now.

“Their suggested land value is more representative of agricultural value than a site which has permission for an alternative use.

“Assisting local businesses to expand is a key objective of Aberdeenshire CounciI. If Brewdog remains committed to taking forward this development, then we remain committed – as always – to do everything that reasonably can be done to help the company achieve its ambition.”

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