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UK: In an almost 91 per cent turnout for the vote, the majority decision by the islanders of Colonsay is incontrovertible in its 60%-40% support for Marine Harvest to establish a fish farm off the cast of the island.
110 of the 121 eligible votes cast saw 67 cast in favour and 43 against, respectively 60.9 per cent and 39.1 per cent of the vote, the news source www.forargyll.com reports.
The site proposed for Colonsay is 1.5-1.8 km offshore to the Northeast. It would be serviced by a catamaran operating from a shore base on the island and by a 30m long feeder barge. The farm proposed for Colonsay would be the biggest allowed by SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency), with 2,500 tonnes of fish.
The farm will offer six jobs and two seasonal technician jobs; £10,000 pa to the Community Amenity Fund; a £50,000 one-off donation to the community; and 20 tonnes of salmon pa at production cost, the news source wrote.
On hearing the result of the vote, local MSP, Michael Russell said: "The people of the island have given their view and now it will be over to the planners. I am predisposed to giving people a say on the future of their island and this result has produced a majority in favour of the development. People are keen to see new jobs generated and the islands economy enhanced. Clearly there was a body of opposition to the proposal and it will be for Marine Harvest to allay any fears or concerns that they may have had if the development gets the green light. The important thing is that following a well conducted ballot and robust debate that the community can move forward positively to the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
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