Twenty jobs at ‘world’s largest’ on­shore fish farm

‘It is ex­cit­ing and will make a dy­namic change to the eco­nomic fu­ture of the Tayin­loan area’

Campbeltown Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Han­nah O’Han­lon editor@camp­bel­town­courier.co.uk

DE­MO­LI­TION work­ers are rip­ping the guts from an old Tayin­loan fish farm.

Once the new fac­tory farm is com­pleted, it should bring 20 jobs and the site will house ‘the world’s largest on­shore re­cir­cu­la­tion salmon fa­cil­ity’.

Aqua­cultue

Perthshire-based com­mer­i­cal fresh­wa­ter salmon farm­ing firm, FishFrom, re­ceived plan­ning per­mis­sion in De­cem­ber 2013 to build a £20 mil­lion closed con­tain­ment aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity at Rhu­na­haorine, amid a flurry of ex­cite­ment.

The site pre­vi­ously hosted a salmon farm which op­er­ated for around 15 years but was left in a state of dis­re­pair fol­low­ing its clo­sure in 2003.

In the past four years, lit­tle has been done fol­low­ing the plan­ning per­mis­sion ap­proval. In Fe­bru­ary this year, an ap­pli­ca­tion to re­new plan­ning per­mis­sion was granted and, with a build­ing stan­dards war­rant in place, work be­gan to de­mol­ish the ex­ist­ing struc­tures on the site.

Two JCB op­er­a­tors us­ing ma­chin­ery from Rut­tle Plant Hire, whose man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Harry Rut­tle, owns the site, have be­gun to level the pre­vi­ous build­ings.

And, this week, FishFrom di­rec­tor An­drew Robert­son met Fer­gus Ewing, the cab­i­net sec­re­tary for the ru­ral econ­omy and con­nec­tiv­ity, to dis­cuss the plans.

When it first went to plan­ning, the con­cept was largely sup­ported by the lo­cal com­mu­nity, as well as then High­lands and Is­lands MSP Jamie McGrigor, Kin­tyre and the Isles coun­cil­lor Anne Horn and West Kin­tyre Com­mu­nity Coun­cil.

Sup­port­ers ar­gued that the de­vel­op­ment, which was val­ued at £20 mil­lion in 2013, would bring much-needed jobs to Kin­tyre, while restor- ing the derelict site. Ob­jec­tors raised con­cerns that the scale of the de­vel­op­ment would neg­a­tively im­pact on the vis­ual amenity of an area de­pen­dent on tourism, but sup­port­ers con­tested that the area is quiet and the nearby shore is nowhere near as fre­quently vis­ited as many of Kin­tyre’s other beaches.

How­ever, coun­cil­lors, who unan­i­mously voted in favour of the ap­pli­ca­tion, cited the fact that it would re­store a brown­field site, land which has pre­vi­ously been used but has sub­se­quently be­come derelict or con­tam­i­nated, and bring­ing valu­able, skilled jobs to Tayin­loan, as well as boost­ing the wider Kin­tyre econ­omy.

No risk

The close con­tain­ment re­cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem should re­duce pol­lu­tion, as there should be no waste streams or ef­flu­ent and be­ing on land means there is no risk of sea-lice, preda­tors such as seals or es­capees into the wild salmon pop­u­la­tion.

Kin­tyre coun­cil­lor Rory Colville said: ‘It is ex­cit­ing and will make a dy­namic change to the eco­nomic fu­ture of the Tayin­loan area.’

Work un­der way on the site last Fri­day.

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