Marine Fish Farm in the Planning System - Marine Fish Farming developments (out to the 3 mile limit) came into the jurisdiction of the Planning System in Scotland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) on the 1 April 2007 when the Town & Country Planning (Marine Fish Farming (Scotland)) Order 2007 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) came into force.
Prior to this date, development consents for the marine fish farms fell within the jurisdiction of The Crown Estate (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Statutory Planning Authority - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is the statutory Planning Authority for new marine fish farming development as well as material changes to existing fish farms in the Outer Hebrides.
Planning Policy - All planning applications for marine fish farm developments are assessed and determined in accordance with the Outer Hebrides Development Plan and statutory
Supplementary Guidance for Marine Fish Farming, with due regard for Scottish Planning Policy and other relevant National Guidance (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) and ‘material’ planning considerations.
Environmental Impact Assessment - All Marine fin-fish farming developments are subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulation 2017 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)(EIA). The Scottish Government provides useful guidance on EIA including access to templates to assist in the EIA process.
Marine Scotland - The Scottish Government through Marine Scotland also provide a host of other useful information and relevant guidance on Marine Fish Farming. (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)
Pre- Application Advice - Developers are invited to discuss their proposals with the Comhairle Planning Service at the earliest stage possible. Developers should contact the Planning Service to make an appointment by telephoning 01851 822690 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning Protocol - The Scottish Salmon Producers Association (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) has produced a Protocol For Preparing Planning Applications For Aquaculture Development and developers are encouraged to refer to the Protocol in developing their proposals.
Permitted development rights (PDR) are granted for some types of marine fish farming development. While that means that some types of development can be carried out without the need to submit an application for planning permission, developers need to be aware that some developments depending on their location, nature and/or scale may still be subject to the provisions of the Habitats Regulations and/or the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 2017. In 2018, Marine Scotland produced a document providing Guidance on the use of permitted Development rights for finfish and shellfish developments guidance document for developers. Please note that the 2018 permitted development rights have been updated further by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development and Use Classes) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) – Amendment of Part 6A.
Marine Fish Farm Planning Application Form - The Comhairle has adopted a national application form for Marine Fish Farm Development Planning Applications.
Useful Contacts (Links to further information and advice)