The Scottish Salmon Company has failed in a bid to reverse a planning decision over a proposed salmon farm on the Isle of Arran.

The application for planning permission for a farm and feed barge east of Millstone Point, Lochranza had been refused by North Ayrshire Council. The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) appealed but the Scottish Government’s Reporter, Allison Coad, today announced that she had decided to uphold the council’s decision.

SSC had reduced the number of 120 metre pens from 20 to 12, and had proposed that the feed barge would resemble a fishing boat, but even so the Reporter ruled that the site would introduce man-made features into an isolated, unspoiled stretch of coastline.

Explaining her decision, the Reporter accepted that the farm would contribute to the local and national economy and also noted that – despite differing views being expressed – it was not apparent that the farm would have an adverse impact on either wild salmon or marine mammals.

Even so, she explained, the visual impact of the farm outweighed the benefits it would bring. As she put it: “I find the proposal is an unacceptable incursion into an isolated, locally and national valued area of landscape and seascape.”

Visual impact was also cited by the Highland Council North Planning Committee in April this year, when refusing planning permission to Organic Sea Harvest for a proposed farm on Skye.

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