Joining hands in protest at fish farm

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Opponents are to form a kilometre long human chain running the length of the proposed fish farm at Millstone Point to help residents visualise the extent of the development.

Describing the farm being proposed by the Scottish Salmon Company as a ‘mega-farm’, members of the Community of Arran Seabed Trust (COAST), supporters and visitors are aiming to illustrate the visual impact that a farm the size of 33 football pitches, and which will run for one kilometre along the coast, will have on the surroundings.

Supporters and anyone that wishes to make their feelings known about the development are invited to join the human chain tomorrow (Sunday) between 2pm and 4pm. Described as a family friendly event, supporters can meet at the North Sannox car park at 1.30pm for 2pm. From there a 3.5 kilometre flat walk along the Coastal Way will be required to reach the remote but scenic site. There will be no shuttle service available to the Fallen Rocks, as originally planned.

The initiative known as ‘Let’s make a (Millstone) point’ is part of the COAST campaign representing their views, and those of many island residents, who are firmly opposed to the development of a fish farm off Millstone Point, near Lochranza.

The campaign is in direct response to a 914 page planning application submitted to North Ayrshire Council seeking permission to develop a fish farm comprising 20 x 120m circumference fish pens and an accompanying feed barge which officials are currently considering.

The proposal has been vehemently opposed by COAST, the Lochranza Community Association and 82 per cent of the attendees at a Scottish Salmon Company public consultation event held at Lochranza where environmental concerns, potential visual impacts, fish welfare and impacts on the local tourism industry were cited as the mains concerns.

The Scottish Salmon Company say that the development will create 10 full-time jobs and a further 51 supply chain jobs and contribute a total Gross Value Added (GVA) for the Scottish Economy of over £8.6 million per year.

The application is currently scheduled to be considered by the council’s planning committee towards the end of this year.