SKYE FISH FARM: Company to appeal against planning decision

Work at an OSH site in Skye

Organic Sea Harvest is to appeal against the decision which blocked planning permission for a new fish farm in north Skye.

In January the salmon company was refused permission for a site off Balmaqueen by Highland Council’s North Planning Committee.

Despite the plans being recommended by officials for approval, councillors on the committee voted 8-6 against the application.

The proposals had attracted several objections on visual impact and environmental grounds.

Organic Sea Harvest – which already operates two salmon farms on the Trotternish peninsula – promised to spend £4 million and create nine jobs at Balmaqueen.

OSH’s chief executive Ove Thu said: “We are committed to supporting the community in north-east Skye and investing in the fragile local economy.  We believe aquaculture will help to support the diversification of Skye’s economy, which relies strongly on tourism, and has struggled greatly during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

A decision regarding the appeal will be made by a reporter appointed by the Scottish Government.

The company had a similar battle for a salmon farm in nearby Flodigarry. It was rejected by Highland Councillors and the appeal subsequently turned down.