Friday, 5 August 2011

Ardmaddy Fish Farm - The Latest

Yacht aground in centre of what would be left of the channel

The closing date for formal submissions closed yesterday with over 400 comments, mostly objections. This must be close to a record for a single application.

Despite the closing date there is still time for anyone to post a comment. Argyll & Bute Council have confirmed that they will have regard to all material submitted up to the date the actual decision is made. 

To post a comment please click here: - Argyll & Bute Council website for the Ardmaddy Fish Farm 

We have an excellent, experienced team working on all aspects of this matter, the ecological, the biological, the economic, the navigational, as well as the threat to the quality of life for local residents, who will be subjected to  round-the-clock noise from the diesel generators that power the automatic feeding systems.

One of our team, Richard Pierce of Luing, has permitted me to publish in full the text of his letter to the planning officer in charge:-

"It seems to me that this is not an application to move an existing facility. It is an application to establish a new facility,  and therefore I understand it should be considered by an entirely different planning process. Please tell me if I am right or wrong in this assumption bearing in mind the following:

1        Being at least twice the size of the existing facility, the proposed installation will require many new cages, and a service barge that the present facility does not have.  From the submitted documents it is not easy to see that the barge is 26m x 18m, with a building  approx.18m x 15m on top, which rises at least 3m above deck level. The submitted documents do not enable an informed comparison to be made. In addition there is no indication of the plant that will be installed, or the sound pressure levels thereof , and judging by the North Shuna installation this could be a very serious consideration.
Existing Fish Farm 2011

2.        The proposed new site is in an unspoiled, non-industrial, wild environment. Such areas are easily irreversibly destroyed and are increasingly rare. The following pictures may help those who may not be able to visit the site in the near future.
The proposed site is in the middle of this panorama taken from Torsa.  To the left is Seil Sound, to the right is Loch Melfort.
Looking South over the proposed site from Port na Morachd
 ...and  looking North

This is the only sheltered safe beach landing / anchorage/ refuge in many miles of otherwise hostile coastline.  Its orientation, and position provide an unusually well protected refuge in all wind directions and tide conditions, particularly for the ever increasing number of cruising yachts and small cruise ships visiting the area.

3.    I am concerned that by omission, the application does not fully illustrate the impact that the proposed development would have on safe navigation. For instance the submitted chart is cropped in such a way that anyone unfamiliar with the area will see no potential hazards. Reading the chart in the way a mariner does, to plot his course or safe refuge, requires a more extensive view: 

This shows the Proposed Extent of Moorings... meaning that no other vessel can anchor not only in the black zone, but in a significant region beyond, for fear of fouling anchor warps on mooring lines.
This mooring area will thus preclude other vessels from anchoring in the shelter of Torsa from the prevailing SW and NE gales.
Even from the above scans it is difficult to appreciate the hazards to navigation to the North East Torsa at the entrance to the fiercely tidal Cuan Sound.   So to illustrate:

Summer 2010   RNLI in attendance to rock-bound yacht. Not a rare occurrence.
 This recent RNLI rescue was effected just a few hundred metres to the NW of the proposed cages. The unmarked submerged rocks are in what would appear to be the centre of the 'new' fairway.

Thankfully these visitors made their mistake in calm weather."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ewan, very well done. If you look at the shareholders none are from the UK except one stupid bank.......
    Let them put their fishfarms in Norway !!!!!
    But not in my back yard. ET


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