Council chiefs have confirmed they will not need any planning permission to tear down the Chivas buildings in Paisley, including the iconic former main office at the front of the site.
However, it may not be known whether the famous structure on Renfrew Road will be wiped out until much later in the year, with Renfrewshire Council still waiting for feedback from architects on whether it should be retained.
The local authority– which bought the majority of the site from whisky giant Pernod Ricard at the end of last year – submitted a list of 17 buildings it was considering demolishing to planning bosses last month to determine whether approval was needed.
Bosses have now been given the all-clear to get rid of any structures they wish as plans progress with turning the site into a new home for Paisley Grammar School.
“Prior approval is not required for demolition of buildings on the former Chivas site,” said a council spokesman.
“The project team is currently evaluating the demolition tenders and this would not include instruction to demolish the main Chivas office building as its status will be determined later in the development programme, once we know the layout requirements for a new-build Paisley Grammar School.”
In their decision notice, planning chiefs said they considered it “unlikely” that demolition of the buildings would have a “significant impact” on the surroundings.
In a survey sent out by Paisley Community Trust, almost 1,000 residents voiced their opposition to the main building being torn down, with many regarding it as one of the town’s most prominent landmarks.
Paisley councillor Will Mylet also insisted “everything possible” should be done to save it.
Built in around 1964, it housed the main Chivas office and reception and is a structure people from well beyond the town recognise. However, it is not a listed building.
Other buildings that may be knocked down in future include the south hall, pump house, distribution shed, transportation office and the central bottling hall. The council has said any demolition at the site wouldn’t start until spring.
Some other parts of the site – including the North Hall – have been taken over by Scottish Leather Group.
Story by local democracy reporter Stephanie Brawn