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Responding to the North Arran Salmon Farm Planning Application

 

Scottish Salmon Company Planning Application for Millstone Point, North Arran

On Saturday 17th August 2019 the Scottish Salmon Company submitted their planning application for a new development off Millstone Point to North Ayrshire Council. The council’s planning committee have four months to consider this application.

So what can we do?
As members of the public, we have until 30th September 2019 to submit our comments on the planning application. Please see below for guidance on how to respond and some suggested content in response to the >900 page application.

All associated documents for this planning application can be viewed, with the option of downloading, by clicking on the link below or by copying and pasting it into your search bar:

https://www.eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/OnlinePlanning/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PW6JPXLE04X00

There are two key documents worth reading which summarise the planning application:
1) Non-technical summary (viewable here).
2) Pre-application consultation report, detailing the views of the community regarding the development – collated from feedback at the public consultation events and Q&A sessions (viewable here).

All other documents are worth having a look at if you feel you can digest them all, but these are the two we recommend. If you would like to read a paper copy of any of the documents, you can do so at Brodick Library and the North Ayrshire Council Offices in Lamlash.

 

Taking Action

Ways to respond

Step-by-step guidance as to how to do this can be viewed here.

There are two ways to respond to this planning application:

1)  Online via the North Ayrshire Council planning website.

Here is an update from North Ayrshire Council on how to respond to this planning application.

All comments need to be submitted through the council’s online portal.

Submit your comments online.

The portal has a limit of 5,000 characters.  Should you wish to comment further you can either submit another comment or send a supplimentary email which can also include attachments.  If you do send an email, you should mention in your online comment that you will be also sending an email and please make sure that you send the email from the same email address you used for your online comment.  This will allow the council to match up the email with the online comment.

Further information about how to comment is available on the NAC website here.

2) Writing: F.A.O Mr Iain Davies, Planning, North Ayrshire Council, Cunninghame House, Irvine, KA12 8EE
copying to: COAST, Old Pavilion, Lamlash, Isle of Arran, KA27 8LS

Please ensure you use the planning application number as subject reference: 19/00609/PPM

What to include
Comments that will work well are:
– Comments specific to North Arran, not about salmon aquaculture in general.
– Those that comment on the effects on the landscape and seascape
– Those that highlight the impact on tourism and local economy.
– Comments regarding to the impact on wild salmon.

Additionally, the planning committee must take into consideration points outlined in the North Ayrshire Local Development Plan when looking at this application. Comments relating to these points are encouraged. Policy 25 directly relates to Aquaculture. There is an emphasis on the Council having a duty to consider any cumulative effects on a number of different areas: the landscape, seascape and visual amenity; the protection and enhancement of the wider physical environment; coastal and marine species (including wild salmonids) and habitats; and other users of the marine environment.

Specific Guidance on Key Points for Your Objection

Make your objection as short or as long as you wish; the important thing is that it is yours and it will then be counted clearly by North Ayrshire Council as another objection.  You may download the guidance as a WORD document here.

N.B. Include some specific economic arguments in your objection as this will give additional weight to the objections when being considered by the planning officer and the Councillors of the planning committee. There is a whole section within the guidance on economics and some specifics include: investment in alternative land-based salmon farming and its benefits, damage to our tourism-based businesses and risk to the livelihoods of local fishermen, no jobs or economic benefit guaranteed for Arran attributable to this site development, reduction of employment because of increased automation.

We have grouped some points to include in your own objections under separate headings which are as follows:

Scottish Salmon Company and their ‘public consultation’

Socio-Economics

Environmental Impact

Landscape and seascape

Waste and chemical discharges

Wild salmon and sea trout

Iconic marine and coastal species (seals, cetaceans, basking sharks and otters)

Seabed Habitats and Priority Marine Features

All points do relate directly to the documents in the application which are primarily the Socio-Economic Report, Environmental Impact Assessment, Planning Statement and the Pre-Application Consultation Report. Please take some points that you feel passionately about and agree with and rewrite or include them in your own text, all these points will be relevant to planning policies in the North Ayrshire Council Local Development Plan; the application breaches the following planning policies because it will damage our landscape, seascape and environment without any net benefit to the island’s economy: Strategic Policy 1: Spatial Strategy; Detailed Policies: Policy 15 – Landscape and seascape; Policy 16 – Protection of designated sites; Policy 22 – Water Environment Quality; Policy 24 – Alignment with Marine Planning; Policy 25 – Supporting Aquaculture

The top-line message here for the planner and the planning committee Councillors is that: if the Council approves this planning application for a massive salmon farm in the waters of the North Arran National Scenic Area they will be contradicting their very own planning policies and allowing the Scottish Salmon Company to increase their profit for themselves and their shareholders while Arran’s coastal community have no net benefit; our people, businesses and wildlife will be required to suffer the effects of significant long term damage to our landscape and seascape, seabed habitats, wildlife, and the resulting damage to our tourist economy which, thousands of us are dependent upon for our income and island services. 

 

Photo credit: Corin Smith – Inside Scottish Salmon Feedlots

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