Fish farm request
The Scottish Salmon Company is sounding out the Comhairle about creating a new 1.26-hectare salmon farm off the northeast coast of Benbecula.
Tentatively named Morrison’s Rock Fish Farm, the new Atlantic salmon marine finfish farm at Uskivagh, Creagorry, will comprise six 160-metre circumference pens, a feed barge, and associated moorings. There are no plans to build onshore.
The proposed development area is at the entrance of the sea inlet that separates North Uist from the Isle of Benbecula.
The site is approximately 11km south of the entrance to Loch Euphoirt and 3 km north of Loch Uiskevagh.
The scoping documents submitted are a precursor to a full planning consent application. The Comhairle is being asked to comment on the current technical assessments.
The Scottish Salmon Company, which currently employs 240 staff in the Outer Hebrides, say they are anticipating a full Environmental Impact Assessment will be required for the proposed development.
Screening and scoping are the early stages of the EIA process. The aim is to identify key environmental issues and determine which development elements are unlikely to cause significant environmental effects.
In their scoping report, the Scottish Salmon Company say the initial assessment has demonstrated that the development has “a limited potential for significant effects.” But further assessment will be required to confirm this.
They add: “Cumulatively, there will be an associated increase in aquaculture surface infrastructure off the Isle of Benbecula coast, as the development will increase the number of salmon farms in the area and the area covered by fish farming infrastructure by 1.26 ha.”
However, they point out that due to the open water nature of the marine environment at the proposed location and the lack of visual connectivity between the development and the existing sites, it is not anticipated that any cumulative effects will be significant.
The company continues: “The development is in an area used for small-scale commercial fishing. However, the proposed location for the development makes up only a small proportion of the potentially profitable fishing grounds off the Isle of Benbecula coast and does not appear to represent unique high-value grounds.”
They conclude that the potential for cumulative effects and associated environmental risks resulting from the development is minimal.
Uist Community Riding School at East Camp, Balivanich, is seeking planning permission to reroof their arena.
In the planning application, the applicant, Gail Robertson of Benbecula Community Council, states it is proposed to replace the arena’s existing roof sheeting with profiled fibre cement corrugated roof sheets. The sheets are natural grey with clear profiles for natural light.
The reroofing will also change the roof profile from curved eaves to an overhang.