Plans for £10m hotel complex in doubt over name row
Tomatin Distillery has objected to the venture calling itself The Tomatin Trading Company.
Reporting by Iain Ramage
A new hotel and shopping complex near Inverness that promises 70 post-construction jobs has been thrown into doubt because of a row over its name.
The neighbouring distillery has raised a glass to the development but taken legal action over the developer's choice of branding.
The project has planning approval, however, the 100-bed hotel, 200-seat cafe and shops project could remain on the drawing board if the argument is not settled.
The site, previously a hotel and latterly a cafe, has been unused for a decade and may remain so because of the issue.
The century-old, Japanese-owned Tomatin Distillery objects to the £10m venture calling itself "The Tomatin Trading Company".
It has taken the matter to Scotland's supreme civil court, the Court of Session, which "isn't helpful" according to the developer.
William Frame, Tomatin Trading Company's managing director, told STV: "Let's try and find a resolution. We're neighbours. We have to live with each other.
"This is ridiculous. This should be about helping and promoting the local community, promoting the village of Tomatin, giving young people jobs that are sustainable and getting young people back into the Highlands."
There were no public objections during last year's planning process. The local community council backed the development.
The name, according to the developer, reflects the location.
'This is ridiculous. This should be about helping and promoting the local community, promoting the village of Tomatin, giving young people jobs that are sustainable and getting young people back into the Highlands.'William Frame, Tomatin Trading Company
Tomatin Distillery managing director Stephen Bremner said: "We wholeheartedly welcome and support this or any development that is going to benefit the area.
"However, we object to the proposed branding which, we believe, takes unfair advantage of our reputation."
Local Highland councillor Duncan Macpherson is seriously concerned.
He said: "There's so many jobs riding on it. It's a £10m development.
"There's 100 jobs in the construction phase and then permanent jobs. But both full-time and part-time jobs would be created.
"It would make a huge difference to the local economy."
The Tomatin Trading Company - if it retains the name - hopes to begin construction at the site next spring.