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Planners meeting in Campbeltown on Wednesday were faced with a difficult decision.
Both Argyll and Bute’s economy and its environment are fragile. The fish hatchery at Machrihanish will undoubtedly bring work but will it wreck the environment?
On the A887 road to Skye, from the Great Glen, at Glenmoriston, Marine Harvest has just replaced a salmon smolt hatchery with a state-of-the-art production unit, including a visitor viewing gallery.
Perhaps it would be possible for the firm to add something similar at Machrihanish. The firm’s application already pledges to create Fessenden interpretation boards.
Let’s hope the building of the hatchery does not affect visitor numbers.
Much was made of the destruction of the natural environment. Birds and wildlife are adaptable and many birds of prey are to be seen at the roadside stalking prey from telegraph wires.
Any development inevitably impacts on the environment but Kintyre has a long history of industry, including coal mining, ship building, cheese production and whisky, much of which brings tourists to the area.