Mowi Scotland Ltd has submitted an appeal regarding the refusal of planning permission for its Loch Hourn salmon farm. The installation of more fish pen will begin if the appeal succeeds. The farm's production capacity will increase by 10%.
"After careful consideration, we have concluded there are strong evidence-based grounds to contest the reasons for refusal. Also, by the statutory provision, we intend to appeal against the decision," said Stephen MacIntyre, Head of Environment at Mowi Scotland.
"In this appeal, we present clear evidence and information showing why we believe the decision to refuse planning permission was not consistent with the development plan policy. Nor a proper assessment of the application and Environmental Impact Assessment Report."
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency's (SEPA) assessment of the risk to protected species and seabed habitats posed by the application stated that it would not pose any significant risk. In addition, it has issued a varied Controlled Activities Regulations License.
Before, the Highland Council planners recommend the approval for the initial planning permission. The statutory agencies didn't send objections. The upgrade with fewer, larger pens is now a reality in Loch Hourn. Currently hosts seven 160-meter circular pens. The planning authority establishes that the juvenile salmon stock must be up to 2,500 tonnes of production.
"As we outlined in our planning application the benefits of fewer, larger pens are evident. Those include reduced visual impacts, operational efficiencies, and reduced fish stocking densities. Also, improved health and welfare for our salmon," MacIntyre noted.
Besides, he added: "We are pleased that we have been able to commence work to update and modernize the Loch Hourn farm. As fish farming in Scotland evolves in response to developing new technology. Loch Hourn is the fifth Mowi fish farm to transition to new larger pens. We are seeing the benefits they bring to these locations."
Finally, he concluded: "We acknowledge that the planning application resulted in a mix of positive and negative feedback from residents about the farm that has been operating near the Arnisdale community for the past 30 years. Notwithstanding, we expect that development decisions that affect the livelihoods of many local families be evidence-based when considering social, economic, and environmental sustainability."