Want to read more?
We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.
Full consultation is promised
I read with interest the Arran Banner article dated September 9 regarding our plans to develop our site at Lamlash and the subsequent letters published in the following week’s issue.
I fully appreciate that this is a topic that some in the local community feel strongly about. We will be undertaking a full programme of consultation with local residents and organisations to listen to their views and concerns. In the meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to explain more about the development and what this means for Arran.
The Scottish Salmon Company’s operations are 100 per cent Scotland based and Lamlash is one of 60 sites we operate across the west coast and Hebrides. It was one of the first fish farms in Scotland and has been operating successfully on Arran for about 30 years. As a company we are fiercely proud of its heritage.
While our intended plans for the site will increase its capacity, its location footprint will remain similar and we will be investing in modernising the equipment. Our current Lamlash site lies within the South Arran MPA; it is located approximately 1.2km away from the nearest MPA feature and is also around 1.5km from the No Take Zone. By developing the site in the current location, we intend to minimise any additional potential environmental impacts on the integrity of the MPA and NTZ. At all times we operate with utmost consideration and appreciation for this surrounding natural environment.
As part of the planning exercise we will be undertaking a full Environmental Impact Assessment. Indeed, we will be submitting a Screening and Scoping request to North Ayrshire Council in the coming weeks with regards to this assessment which will rigorously examine any potential effects of increasing the volume of fish at the farm. We adhere to the highest levels of environmental protection across all our sites but we will work closely with key stakeholders to identify any further measures which would be required.
The salmon industry is a vital driver of the Scottish economy and we are known the world over for the quality of our produce. On Arran we provide five people with stable full-time employment with a combined service of 50 years. We invest heavily in training for all members of our team and we want to provide not just jobs to the local area but quality, sustainable employment. The development of our site at Lamlash will only enhance these opportunities and also increase our contribution to the regional economy through our commitment to local sourcing. We use more than 20 suppliers and services in North Ayrshire including Arran and recently commissioned three new work boats built in Arran representing a six figure investment.
Over the coming weeks and months we will be engaging with the local community to gather their views and share more information on our proposals. We have been an active member of the Arran community for many years, from supporting the Brodick Highland Games to working with local schools on health and wellbeing. We are fully committed to continuing this strong relationship throughout the consultation process and I hope we can count on your support.
The Scottish Salmon Company
Copy of letter sent to Stagecoach West Scotland.
I am a Canadian tourist who was visiting the lovely Isle of Arran during the first week of September. Despite an otherwise fantastic trip to the island, I’m writing to convey my significant disappointment at your company’s policy regarding bicycles on buses.
On September 6, I rented a bicycle in Brodick with the intention of cycling to Blackwaterfoot and back. After completing most of the journey from Brodick to Blackwaterfoot with no problems, my bike slipped on the wet road and I fell onto my knee and shoulder. While painful, it wasn’t serious enough to call an ambulance, and we managed to make the rest of the journey to Blackwaterfoot to decide what to do.
Upon arriving in Blackwaterfoot, it became clear that I was in too much pain to safely complete the journey back to Brodick by bicycle, so we had no choice but to wait for the bus.
After waiting for almost an hour, an empty Stagecoach bus arrived, and we were absolutely floored when the driver informed us that as per your policy, he was not allowed to take bikes on the bus under any circumstances.
Despite explaining that I had been injured and could not make the long bike trip back to Brodick safely, he still refused to make an exception, again citing Stagecoach’s policy. Frankly, I’m shocked that this policy even exists in the first place – and at the very least, there should be some flexibility when the bus is otherwise empty.
I recently expressed my concerns to CalMac about the new ferry boarding arrangements at Brodick. They are based upon the fact that I suffer from claustrophobia and vertigo. I could never enter that long narrow tunnel, nor walk in mid-air with see-through panels. I suggested a ground level boarding for such sufferers, or a minibus to shuttle such folk on to the car deck.
In their reply CalMac stressed that they ‘care about their passengers and would not want to them to feel distressed,’ but have no plans to remove that stress. They offer the alternative of Lochranza – not much good in winter.
In summer this is satisfactory if you are driving and have the time, but if that were the case, there would be no problem at Brodick. It is when one is forced to be a foot passenger, for whatever circumstance, that boarding becomes impossible. Perhaps I’m the only sufferer on the island?
On my recent visit to Arran I was surprised to see that CMAL has apparently renamed Brodick ‘Castle Beach’, at least according to the Gaelic part of the signs, Tràigh a’ Chaisteil.
Was somebody influenced by the name of the Barra ferry terminal at Castlebay, or Bàgh a Chaisteil?
It’s all very well wanting a romantic name for a facility which is functional rather than romantic (and incidentally will double at least the length foot passengers have to walk ‘twixt bus and boat), but I would respectfully point out that (a) the terminal is some distance from the nearest beach and (b) it is even further from the castle.
In fact, because of its proximity to both castle and a beach, Brodick Old Quay has more claim to be called Tràigh a’ Chaisteil than does the new terminal.
I’m all for the bilingual signs, but what on earth was wrong with Breadhaig, as is on the sign at the existing terminal?
To name the new terminal after features that are two miles drive away is just silly.
Jane Ann Liston