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Planning Service

Marine Fish Farm Development

Marinne Fish Farm

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 on the 1 April 2007 when the Town & Country Planning (Marine Fish Farming (Scotland)) Order 2007 came into force.

Prior to this date, development consents for the marine fish farms fell within the jurisdiction of The Crown Estate.

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 and ‘material’ planning considerations.

Environmental Impact Assessment - All Marine fin-fish farming developments are subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulation 2011(EIA).   The Scottish Government provides useful guidance on EIA including access to templates to assist in the EIA process (SARF024)
Marine Scotland - The Scottish Government through Marine Scotland also provide a host of other useful information and relevant guidance on Marine Fish Farming.

Loch Seaforth Mussel Lines

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

Planning Protocol - The Scottish Salmon Producers Association has produced a Protocol For Preparing Planning Applications For Aquaculture Development and developers are encouraged to refer to the Protocol in developing their proposals.

Marine Fish Farm Permitted Development Rights - The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Fish Farming) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2012 (PDF) makes provision (subject to Prior Notification in all but one instance) for six types of modification to a marine fish farm that may be carried out without the need to apply for express planning permission. These are (subject to the qualifications of the Order): Changing the size and type of fish cages; Replacing or repositioning a feed barge; Replacing top nets and support structures on a fish cage; Deploying temporary equipment; Switching species being farmed from salmon to either trout or halibut and from trout to salmon and adding longlines on a mussel farm

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.