The view south from Flodigarry towards Staffin, where OSH now has two salmon farm sites. A government appointed planning reporter has rejected an appeal against Highland Council's decision to refuse permission for a farm off Flodigarry. Photo: Undiscovered Scotland.

Salmon farmer loses appeal against Skye site refusal

Scotland’s newest salmon farmer, Organic Sea Harvest Ltd (OSH), has lost its appeal against refusal of planning permission for a site off the north east coast of Skye.

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OSH wanted to site a dozen 120-metre circumference cages and a feed barge at the site, which is around a kilometre off the shore of the scenic Trotternish peninsula.

Its plans, which were opposed by residents in the nearest settlement, Flodigarry township, were rejected by Highland Council in January.

Impacts on views

Government-appointed planning appeal Reporter Lorna McCallum yesterday backed that decision by rejecting OSH’s appeal. In her overall conclusions, McCallum said the proposed farm was not sensitively sited and would have significant and unacceptable impacts on landscape character and visual amenity.

Although localised, the impacts would unacceptably erode the special qualities of the Trotternish National Scenic Area (NSA) and the Trotternish and Tianavaig Special Lanndscape Area (SLA), said McCallum, even though the boundaries of those designations do not extend into the sea as far as the appeal site.

‘Very disappointed’

OSH already has sites in operation at Invertote and Clunacnoc, near Staffin, south of Flodigarry, but had planned sites at Flodigarry and Balmaqueen, north of Flodigarry, so that it could rotate farming cycles and leave fallowed sites empty for a year.  

Responding to the planning decision, the company stated: “Organic Sea Harvest has received Appeal Decision Notice regarding the proposed Flodigarry site and we are obviously very disappointed that our appeal has been refused. We will take our time to discuss the decision with our legal advisors before making any decision on further steps.”