West fish farm wins appeal

A West Side fishing company which was refused permission by councillors to vary two sites has won an appeal to the Scottish Government.

Si Seafarms Ltd was told to curb its plans last year when it applied to SIC’s planning committee for retrospective permission to use lines 175 metres long at the north and south end of Firth, Bixter.

The company was told to adhere to an SIC works licence permitting it to use lines only 130 metres long, despite having a sea bed lease from the Crown Estate for 175 metres.

At a planning meeting last August councillors heard seabed leases issued by the Crown Estate for fish farms often did not match the area permitted by the council’s own works licence, and were sometimes so wrong they did not cover even part of the actual site.

The application was initially moved for approval, but bounced back to the planning committee when it went to the Full Council.

It was later rejected on the grounds of visual impact, however Si Seafarms decided to appeal the decision and on Wednesday the planning committee was told it had been successful in its bid.

The reporter to the Scottish Ministers handling the appeal said the visual impact from the mussel farms had to be judged against what was already permitted, rather than just an empty voe.

Appeals for both the seafarms were accordingly upheld.

• Conditions imposed on outline planning permission for a house in Tingwall will remain largely the same, despite the applicant appealing against two of them.

The SIC’s planning committee previously granted Cecil Eunson permission for the development including an access road to the site and existing croft buildings at 13 Veensgarth in June last year.

An appeal was lodged against two of the conditions – which called for the house to be solely occupied by those running the land – however members of the planning committee heard the conditions would remain in place following an appeal.


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