Shetland community objects to fish meal plant – Fishupdate.com

Shetland community objects to fish meal plant Published:  24 January, 2006

AN ENTIRE Shetland community is objecting to plans to build a £10 million fishmeal plant in its neighbourhood.

The Graven Resident Group is to lodge its objections to plans by the

Icelandic fishmeal and oil producer Síldarvinnslan (SVN) to relocate some of its production to Sella Ness, near the Sullom Voe oil terminal.

SVN applied for planning permission just before Christmas last year. The company plans to process up to 100,000 tonnes of blue whiting at the plant.

The plans by the Icelanders are supported by Shetland Islands Council, who intends to extend the existing pier at Sella Ness to accommodate the expected traffic of boats.

The 35 Graven residents have now all signed a letter of objection to the development. The residents concern are due to be discussed at a meeting of the Delting Community Council, on Thursday.

They said the proposed fishmeal plant would be a “bad neighbour” that would cause loss of amenity and nuisance to local resident through adverse visual impact, the creation of odours, increased noise levels, increase pollution in the Voe, which is a designated SSSI, as well as the potential of “unwelcome” birds being attracted to the plant. They also said that an Environmental Impact Assessment, compiled by an Edinburgh agency Natural Capital, “relies almost entirely on background information” provided by the developer.

Alec Miller, spokesman of the group, said: “We maintain that more effort should have been made within the EIA to obtain independent specialist advice on fishmeal factory emissions, potential bird problems, operational noise levels and effluent discharges rather than relying on the ‘experiences from Iceland’ that is frequently quoted.”

The resident group also question the socio-economic benefits of the

proposed development as it could have a detrimental impact on other small businesses, mainly tourism related, in the area.

They add that in their view the blue whiting fishery was over-exploited not sustainable longterm, and therefore the development would “detract from Shetlands’ efforts to portray a clean level environment image to be seen to be actively encouraging this type of business.”

The council’s planning sub-committee will decide SVN’s application in early spring.

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