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’
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’.
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.
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.