SNP - Tom Wills

Marine / Muckle Roe salmon farm plans remain on back burner

Initial plans which were submitted last year. Image from Shetland Islands Council's planning website.

NO FINAL decision has been made by Grieg Seafood on whether it will apply for planning permission for a controversial salmon farm near a Muckle Roe beauty spot.

Grieg Seafood Shetland managing director Grant Cumming said the community would be consulted before any possible application for the site is submitted.

An online petition was launched last year to rally against Grieg’s plans for an eight 120m cage farm at the south end of Muckle Roe off the Muckle Ayre beach, with the matter also being raised at a meeting of the Delting Community Council.

The petition has received over 1,000 signatures from people who believe that the proposed development would affect quality of life for local people, as well as wildlife, while there were concerns over the impact on tourists and leisure activities.

Cumming had always maintained that the process was not even at the planning application stage when the petition was launched.

The basic plans, which stated that the farm would result in the creation of five jobs, were submitted to Shetland Islands Council in April last year.

The Burki Taing site was formerly used for growing mussels.

Cumming said that Grieg reviewed the proposed plans following the concern from the public, with no decision made yet on whether the company will pursue the site.

“While we do wish to produce more fish to meet the increasing demand for Scottish farmed salmon from our customers we also want to be good neighbours in the communities in which we operate,” he said.

“Therefore in light of the public concern to the proposed application we decided to take another look at what we can do to address the concerns that were raised by the community and to investigate some of the suggestions which were made during the meeting with the community council.

“We have not yet made a final decision on whether or not we will apply for planning permission for the Burki Taing site but if we do decide that we have an application that can address the concerns of the community and can be a net positive gain for the area then we will consult further with the community on the proposal before lodging any application.”

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