£6m wrasse factory row reignited

The existing wrasse hatchery.

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A recently co-opted member of Campbeltown Community Council was at odds with members in a vocal protest about plans for a hatchery at Lossit Point.
At a meeting in the Red Cross hall on Tuesday evening, Valerie Nimmo said: ‘It has recently come to my attention that Marine Harvest (MH) has gone ahead and put in a planning application to build its wrasse hatchery.
‘The land is zoned countryside, has
mosaic rock formations and is the site of the Fessenden mast.
‘The value to the community of the scheme is minimal
because there are only 10 jobs.’
When MH first held public consultations about its plans last year, there was considerable opposition. This included the fact that the view was one painted by arguably Scotland’s finest landscape painter, William McTaggart.
For four months from the middle of March, the debate about the pre-planning exercise was played out in the pages of the Courier.
Alternative sites for the £6 million development, which follows more than 20 years of research at the existing facility, have been suggested such as on the former airbase.
MH held two public days of exhibitions, one in Machrihanish and the other in Campbeltown town hall and claims that 83 per cent of the 73 people who attended and completed a feedback form support the plan. MH’s application statement lodged, as part of the planning process, with Argyll and Bute Council on Monday is 72
pages long.
It was explained, to this week’s meeting, that the community council that should be consulted on the plans is Laggan as the factory will be built in its area. Community
council chairman Alan Baker said: ‘I think, (last year) that it was our opinion that we would be happy with the jobs but we did not put that opinion forward to Argyll and Bute Council.’
Community council
member Catherine Dobbie added: ‘I never see many tourists walking at the Gauldrons and I would welcome 10 new jobs.’
Mrs Nimmo disagreed and added:
‘Since I came to Campbeltown in 1969 the one consistent employment has been tourism.’
Comments on the plans should be made through Argyll and Bute’s website or by letter before July 7.