Opponents of the new whiskey distillery in Princetown claim it will not benefit the economy and that Dartmoor is the wrong place for it.
One campaigner suggests alcohol in the air generated when it begins operating, might create mould on buildings.
Rowan Maul, director of the multi-million-pound project, expects to make millions of bottles of Princetown Whiskey next year and to sell at least three years later after maturing. He is confident that he can offer local jobs (though not guaranteed) and boost the economy with thousands of predicted tourists to a visitor centre.
Opponents dispute the claims, saying the economy will benefit very little because only low paid unskilled jobs will be offered and there are few other businesses to benefit. They also say the moor is an inappropriate place for more industry.
Dartmoor Forest Parish Council supported and Dartmoor National Park Authority planners approved the project five years ago.
Suzanne Davies, former parish councillor, said alcohol in the air from the distillery will create black mould on village buildings and added: ‘The distillery business claims most of the village supports it, but that’s not the case. Lots of other villagers say Princetown and Dartmoor is not the right place for another large industrial building. It’s a blot on the landscape. Also, the only jobs that will be on offer are low-wage and there are big claims about bringing in tourists, but where are they going to spend their money here?’
Cllr Gregg Manning, parish council chairman, said public meetings showed big support and that the mould was very unlikely from a relatively small producer. He conceded it has happened in much larger sites.