Papa Westray salmon farm approved by planning committee
An application for Cooke Aquaculture’s proposed East Moclett salmon farm has been approved by the council’s planning committee this afternoon, Thursday September 8.
It received 82 valid objections, although none were made by the six statutory consultation bodies. As a result, planning officers recommend that the application be approved by elected members.
After a lengthy meeting, Cooke Aquaculture’s plans were passed unanimously by the planning committee.
The salmon farm is to be located 3.5 kilometres south-south-east of East Moclett in the North Sound area.
It would consist of six cages with a 160-metre circumference, configured in two groups of 3 x 2 formation, in addition to a 600-tonne feed barge. The plans for the site include a proposed biomass of 3,850 tonnes.
As well as a campaign launched by Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands, Arianne Burgess, to urge councillors to reject the proposals, a group of residents formed the “No East Moclett” campaign to oppose the plans from Cooke Aquaculture.
However, in both cases the developer has responded to insist that no issues or objections have been expressed from any statutory consultee or regulator.
Furthermore, it has cited the “transformational” effect of a new farm on remote islands, in terms of depopulation.