A Cooke salmon pen at one its sites in Orkney. The company wants to establish a new farm further away from shore than has been done in the past.

Officials recommend approval for large Orkney salmon farm

‘Objections are not of sufficient weight to merit refusal’, planning committee told


A proposal for a 3,850-tonne salmon farm at an exposed site 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) off the coast of Papa Westray will be considered by Orkney Islands Council’s planning committee today.

The application from Canadian-owned Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has been recommended for approval by planning officers.

A report to the planning committee said 102 individual letters of objection had been received, although only 82 were classed as “valid” because many were multiple objections from individual addresses. Under the definition of a Valid Representation, multiple letters from a single postal address are regarded as a single representation.

As previously reported in Fish Farming Expert, the objections are a mix of those from local people and from other areas of the UK, such as the Midlands, London, and Brighton, and from abroad.

Adequate mitigation

“The recommendation on this application has been guided by the conclusions of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR), and the proposal has been assessed against all relevant policies of the Orkney Local Development Plan 2017 and other relevant material planning considerations,” stated the report.

“On balance the objections are not of sufficient weight to merit refusal. Where unacceptable impacts have been identified, adequate mitigation has been provided. Accordingly, the application is recommended for approval.”

If Cooke’s East Moclett farm is approved, it will further offshore than other Scottish salmon farms.

It will comprise six cages with a 160-metre circumference and a 600-tonne-capacity feed barge.

Today's planning meeting starts at 2pm. The full report to the planning committee can be found here.