Rethink Glen Albyn plans, say Inverness residents

As morbid as it seems, we must also cover the end of Glen Albyn, which suffered a similar fate to that of Glen Mhor distillery across the road. 

This particular article was published in the Aberdeen Press & Journal on 17th June 1985 and highlights the ongoing debate around the future of the site. What has been lost to time is the various articles and passionate debate around the future of Glen Albyn.

The article highlights the fears of local residents about the proposed supermarket plan, continued delay and the site falling into decay. Councillor Chisholm is quoted consistently:

'There has been nothing but problems in the area since the distillery closed. It has become a haven for glue-sniffers and a number of houses have been broken into.'

I have spoken to several residents from the Muirtown area and the consensus is that they wanted the distillery to be repurposed in some form - one remembers a tourist attraction plan being mooted - although I've yet to confirm this in my research. It is interesting to read the problems associated with the old site that seems to have been locked up and left to sit quietly. This was replicated in other distillery closures of the early 80s where a sense of abandonment was commonplace. If only a greater vision was present, we may have saved some of the original builds and their historical legacy.

'People in the area are in a difficult situation. The fear is that we are going to be left with old distillery if the plans are turned down.'

This goes against my discussions, if anything, people lament the loss of the community aspect of Muirtown thanks to the developments. That sense of community was lost and hub of the area which featured the distilleries and football ground, could never be replaced.

'The residents would prefer if the supermarket could be situated on the other side, with one of the smaller stores near them instead. They are quite happy with the sheltered housing aspect of the plan.' 

As we know today, the planners got their way and Glen Albyn features a supermarket, whereas the Glen Mhor site has the smaller units. The issue of traffic and Telford Street becoming such a busy stretch was largely ignored and today, it isn't suitable for the volume of traffic that it carries.


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