The Scottish Government Response to the Consultation on Amendments to Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) for Fin Fish and Shellfish Developments 2017
1. In May 2017 the Scottish Government launched a consultation on whether Amendments to Permitted Development Rights ( PDRs) for Fin Fish and Shellfish Developments should be made. The consultation ran for 12 weeks and concluded on 28 July 2017, with 29 responses received. Individual responses were published, subject to permission, in September 2017. An analysis of this consultation is being published with this paper.
2. This paper provides a summary of the Scottish Government's response to the key points made by respondents to the consultation, and describes Ministers decisions with regard to future changes to PDRs for fin fish and shellfish.
3. The Scottish Government is grateful for the time that individuals and organisations took to respond to the consultation. Stakeholder expertise and experience is vital to informing policy direction.
4. The consultation fielded 18 questions on proposed changes to PDR, including both changes to existing PDRs and the introduction of new PDRs. The proposals were formed after a review of the operation of existing PDRs, and were discussed at the Scottish Government's Capacity Working Group and also with shellfish stakeholders.
What we heard
5. The majority of respondents (59%) agree with the proposals, with only 14% against. The consultation generated a diversity of views, with opinions from positive, to impartial, to negative. Overall, supporters of the approach think the interpretation, allows for reasonable flexibility to develop the specific characteristics of a fish farming operation within the planning boundary, without the need for repeat modifications to the planning consent, providing flexibility to operators, and enabling the industry to develop.
6. Issues rose in opposition to the proposals largely concerned in industry's perception that planning issues impacted negatively on industry development, and various environmental impact and navigational issues.
The Scottish Government response
7. We recognise that these proposed changes to PDR are a matter which divides opinion, generating debate. However the results of the consultation clearly show there is a need for change to PDRs to allow the future sustainable growth and development of the fin fish and shellfish industries, with regard to the marine environment.
Conclusion and next steps
8. Based on the above, we intend to publish an amendment Order to make the necessary changes, coming into force in January 2018.