Proposals for a state-of-the-art fish farm at Hunterston have moved one step closer to reality with the submission of an initial planning application.

Bakkafrost Scotland announced plans to build a ‘recirculating aquaculture system’ facility at the Hunterston PARC site earlier this year.

The company has 60 sites across the west coast of Scotland, employing around 600 people, and plans to invest over £700 million in its business over the next five years.

The proposed waterfront facility would produce between eight and ten million salmon every year.

A local ground works application has now been submitted by the company, which it says is the first phase of a major planning bid.

A Bakkafrost spokesperson said: “In order to ensure progress on site, the first stage will see the submission of a local ground works application which will be submitted first.

“It should be noted that this application will seek consent only for initial site preparation works in relation to the development site in question within the Hunterston Construction Yard.

“In terms of the main planning application for the RAS facility, final technical details are being worked on with regard to the plans and it is hoped that the planning application will then be submitted.”

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Salmon would be shipped in to the factory in large boats, where they would go through a 12 to 18-month growing phase, up to 500g in weight.

Vessels would then ship out the fish around once every three months, which would take place during the day for around two weeks.

Fish produced at the site would be sent to marine rearing sites, including those across the water around Arran.

The company explains: “RAS technology is a self-contained, indoor land-based aquaculture system which allows salmon to be reared for longer in freshwater tanks before being moved to marine sites.

“Greater control of the freshwater rearing environment means that farmers produce larger juvenile salmon which reduces the time at sea and biological risk of rearing in the marine environment.

“It has been designed to look aesthetically pleasing externally and internally there will be an education centre and viewing gallery."

The company is currently in the middle of construction of a similar facility at Applecross in the Highlands.

For more information on the proposed development, go to