Economic Grounds for Objection

Tourism

While salmon-farming is important nationally tourism is the main driver of our local economy in Argyll. Including its supporting industries it employs by far the greatest number of our private sector workers.
Increasingly foreign visitors are coming to see Scotland’s unique ecosystems, often bringing with them canoes and bicycles to explore her remote corners. Those of us lucky enough to be here year-round perhaps become used to the scenery, but to visitors from, say, the industrial heartland of Germany or the intensively-farmed flatlands of the Netherlands it presents breathtaking views of the unspoilt fringe of Europe.


Seil Sound looking north

Yachting has a traditionally elitist image, but water sport in all its forms, be it small boating, canoeing, diving or indeed yachting has always been one of the major pastimes of our island nation. Increasingly people are trailer-sailing, bringing small craft with them. There are also our excellent facilities for sea trips to see seals, dolphins, porpoises, birds and other wild-life.

2 Porpoises

Seil Sound is an area of completely unspoiled and outstanding beauty. This was identified by Scottish Natural Heritage as precious “Craggy Coastline”, and was accepted as such when Argyll and Bute Council recently refused permission for the proposed development of Raera wind farm.

This area is central to boats sailing between Cuan Sound, Balvicar, Craobh Haven, Loch Melfort and Crinan. It is enjoyed by large numbers of people, and is important to the yachts, kayaks, and trip-boats, that collectively provide important employment locally. A very long-established walking route from Ardmaddy to Loch Melfort is celebrated for the magnificent views over these same waters.

Seil Sound looking south

Bluntly, fish-farming and tourism don’t mix. The sites are ugly and industrial and you won’t see a lot of seals near them, because operators shoot them. (The present applicants have declared their intention to seek a shooting licence.)
In the present recession parts of our tourism industry are struggling and it’s vitally important not to damage them further. This should be the main focus of our objections, as the threat to the local economy should be pretty obvious to both the planning officials and members of the planning committee.