Here is an update on developments concerning the status of the north Arran Salmon Farm proposal in the application process with North Ayrshire Council.
The North Ayrshire Planning Committee were due to meet in January to discuss the North Arran Salmon Farm proposal. However, this has been postponed until Wednesday 19th February at the earliest because Scottish National Heritage (SNH) & Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) – who are statutory consultees – have yet to submit their responses.
SNH are awaiting the Council ensure a Habitats Regulations Appraisal is undertaken, to assess the risk to the wild salmon protected in the Endrick Water Special Area of Conservation, before submitting their final response. We are very doubtful this can be done as the data on the migration of juvenile salmon smolts does not appear to exist and thus the risk is unknown and precaution will be urged. This has implications for the Cumbrae and Bute proposals and the Ardyne farm expansion proposal, which all risk being on the smolt migration routes. SEPA are awaiting the outcome of further pollution modelling (now being modelled as a single site), hydrodynamic modelling and an extended benthic survey before submitting their response.
The Argyll District Salmon Fishery Board (ADSFB) have recently submitted their formal response to the application and conclude that they are “strongly opposed to the development of a new salmon farm site at North Arran as there is no effective regulation of impacts on wild salmonid fish. More specifically, the location of the site is highly likely to be on a migration corridor for vulnerable salmon smolts and habitat for sea trout emanating from many rivers in Loch Fyne and the Firth of Clyde”.
When viewing NAC’s planning portal, there is a recent document called “applicant comments on representations” in which the Scottish Salmon Company are still promoting the same mis-information propagated in their planning application.
Please continue to share and to have people sign COAST’s online petition, which is now approaching 7000 signatures, and please also sign and share this Sum Of Us campaign against expansion which has c. 55,000 signatures.
We are undoubtedly having an effect as the regulators and planners take more notice of our voice. Our detractors are becoming increasingly desperate and have even cut down and stolen COAST’s campaign banner from the Octopus Centre. Other banners are springing up around the island on private front gates and fences and in people’s windows. Please donate what you can to support COAST by visiting their Centre or by donating online here.