Addressing inconsistencies in shellfish farm planning decisions

Helping to establish consistency in procedural practice across planning authorities

The expansion of shellfish aquaculture is recognised as having the potential to contribute to food security as well as providing a healthy source of protein. The shellfish aquaculture industry in Scotland is aiming to double production volumes by 2020 compared to 2012, a target which is alluded to in Scotland’s National Marine Plan.

The Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum (SARF) commissioned ABPmer to review all aspects of shellfish farm planning considerations and related decision-making processes in Scotland to help ensure a consistent approach to sustainable development of the industry.

We reviewed recent planning decisions for shellfish developments across all relevant Local Authority areas in Scotland, identified the key issues underlying the decisions and the consistency with which these issues are considered between regions. We also highlighted existing good practice to help address any inconsistencies in the decision making process.

Outputs included an overview of how this planning process ‘fits’ with other marine licensing processes and how its decision making process may be influenced in the near future by the local marine plans being developed by Marine Planning Partnerships established under the Marine Scotland Act.

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