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Erect a new shore base

Mowi Scotland has requested planning permission to remove the temporary buildings at Cheesebay Fish Farm and replace them with a new shore base building.

The proposal for the Lochmaddy facility also includes a new parking area and rock removal.

According to a submitted design statement, the new shore base will comprise a workshop and staff welfare and office accommodation, new fuel tank storage, skip area, external storage hardstanding area and parking to improve and maintain shore-based support operations for the applicant's three fish farms at Cheesebay.

The proposed works are located inside the existing established industrial use site, within the South Lewis Harris and North Uist National Scenic Area.

Comments the design statement: "The principle of industrial development at this location is therefore already established, and any proposal is subject to producing a design solution that minimises visual impact while removing the various temporary cabins on site.

"The current proposals seek to provide an agricultural building form while using the existing land topography to screen the bulk of the building from the public road and minimise how much shows above the skyline from the sea."

The present shore base comprises a mix of single and two-storey industrial cabins. The proposed dedicated shore base will allow all the disparate buildings to be under one roof.

Improvements to the shore base at Cheesebay have been on the cards since 2019, when Mowi developed its latest fish farm in the Outer Grey Horse Channel.

Change of use

The Comhairle has received a planning permission application to change residential land use to allow the siting of a takeaway food trailer at Adelaide, 4 Clachan Sands, Lochmaddy.

The applicant Christina Nicholson, of the same address, wishes to trade in her driveway from a 4 x 2.1-metre Airstream Trailer. The proposal is to serve cold food with occasional special offers of hot food between 10 am - 3 pm Monday to Saturday with occasional special offer takeaway nights serving hot food. The operation is to be mainly seasonal, scaling down to Fridays and Saturdays during the winter months.

A submitted design statement states that since COVID-19 and Brexit, the fishing industry has been heavily impacted in exporting and reaching international markets.

It continues: "This is where it was discovered that there is a demand for keeping creel-caught shellfish local and selling to our local communities. Trading as Lochmaddy Bay Prawns began, and currently, locals and tourists alike can buy directly from the fishing boat."

However, after obtaining authority approval selling cooked tails began, and it was later decided to purchase a mobile catering trailer.

Erect a transformer building

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has notified the Comhairle of the permitted development of a transformer building at Clachan Substation in Locheport.

The proposed building is to be situated on operational land and used solely to protect plant and machinery. As the building would be less than 15 metres in height, the agent for SSEN Distribution states the proposal qualifies for prior approval under permitted development.

The new building will house two transformers, reach 7.5 metres to the roof ridge, and have an external appearance that matches the existing substation.

Upgrading at Lochmaddy Pier

The Comhairle's Director of Investment Delivery, Iain Mackinnon, is seeking a variation to planning consent for upgrading works at Lochmaddy Pier.

The proposed variation is to consent granted in 2109 for upgrades to the Lochmaddy Ferry Terminal, including an extension of the vehicle marshalling area and car park, erection of retaining walls, construction of hardstanding and relocation of service buildings for the installation of pontoons.

The latest submission before the Comhairle's planning authority is for a variation of the 2019 consent to reinstate the use of the private one-way through-road immediately to the front of the Lochmaddy Hotel and adjacent to the A865.

The through road is currently being used as an outdoor seating area by the Lochmaddy Hotel, which gained relevant permissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reinstatement of the through-road allows for traffic management consented under the original planning permission to be implemented.

The current planning permission was granted before the COVID-19 pandemic. It incorporated the continued use of the one-way through-road to the A865. A roundabout was also consented to improve the management of an anticipated increase in traffic volume.

The supporting information states: "During the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry was encouraged to have outdoor seating in order to curb the spread of the virus. In an attempt to meet the needs of customers during the pandemic, the Lochmaddy Hotel obtained permission to use the through road as an outdoor seating area.

"At present, there are a number of benches on the through-road, and the hotel is only accessible from the ferry side, with the existing car park being used as a turning point in order for vehicles to exit onto the A865. The Lochmaddy Hotel benefited from this outdoor seating area during the pandemic, and they wish to retain the facility for their customers."

However, this is in direct conflict with the consented plans for the Lochmaddy Ferry Terminal Upgrade's roundabout at the entrance to the ferry terminal marshalling area.

The supporting information says the roundabout cannot accommodate two-way traffic from the hotel and cannot be redesigned to do so due to space constraints.

The proposed variation addresses this issue while maintaining the availability and use of outdoor facilities for the Lochmaddy Hotel.

Explains the Comhairle: "It is proposed that the Lochmaddy Hotel's outdoor seating area, which is currently situated on the through-road, is moved to the existing informal car parking area adjacent to the A865, and that a new car park is constructed to the south of the Lochmaddy Hotel.

"This enables the reinstatement of the one-way through-road in front of the hotel whilst maintaining the access to an outdoor seating area and car park facilities for the hotel."

It is proposed to increase the consent boundary area by 764m2. This enlargement would enable a range of new developments, including a new hotel parking area, seating area, retaining wall, street lighting and fencing.