PLANS to demolish a derelict listed building on the site of what was once the oldest licensed distillery in Scotland – and possibly the world – will go before councillors next week.

Members of the planning committee at West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) will be asked to give the green light to a bid to pull down the former exciseman’s house at the site of the old Littlemill Distillery in Bowling.

The B-listed ruined building is the only surviving structure on the site following the closure of the distillery in 1995 and the demolition of the remaining buildings following a fire in 1994.

The demolition bid will go before WDC’s planning committee on Wednesday, December 14 after Bowling and Milton Community Council (BMCC) and two residents raised objections with the council.

In its objection, BMCC says that the Swan Group, which owns the site, has “carried out no maintenance whatsoever” on the site – something which, the community council says; “suggests their ultimate aim was to secure permission for demolition of the listed building due to it becoming structurally dangerous”.

BMCC’s objection adds: “That is now the case they have put forward. If that permission were to be granted their website shows they intend to build 36 units [homes] on the site.”

But a council report on the plans states: “Whilst the condition of the building is extremely disappointing, following a full assessment of the condition, the remaining fabric and historic features, together with the works that would be required to redevelop the building it is concluded that the building is incapable of meaningful repair.”

The report also points out that Historic Environment Scotland has not objected to the proposed demolition.

The last casks of whisky from Littlemill are now held by the Loch Lomond Group at its Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria.

In 2019 the Loch Lomond Group announced that documentary evidence had been unearthed from 1773 stating that ‘Robert Muir of Littlemiln’ had been granted the first ever licence by the Government of King George III to “retail ale, beer and other excisable Liquors”.