The Scottish Government's Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals refused an appeal by the Scottish Salmon Company to remove a 10 year time restriction on its salmon farm at Sgeir Dughall in Loch Torridon on Scotland's north west coast.
In 2012 the Highland Council granted permission to the Scottish Salmon Company for a 2500 tonne fish farm in Upper Loch Torridon, but imposed a 10 year time-limit on the permission because of concerns over the potential impact of the farm on local salmon and sea trout populations.
The fish farmer made an application to the Highland Council in 2014 for the removal of the time limit, arguing that it was unreasonable, unnecessary and against Scottish Government planning policy.
Environmental groups have welcomed the decision as it provides some protection to wild salmon and sea trout stocks.
Robert Younger, Fish Legal Solicitor said:"I am very happy with this decision. Planning Authorities are legally responsible for managing the interactions between salmon fish farms and local salmon and sea trout populations and a time limited permission is an effective way in which this responsibility can be managed. We need to focus now on ensuring that all farms with temporary permissions are properly monitored so that their impacts on local salmon and sea trout are properly understood by the time the temporary permission has expired and the fish farmer is looking for a renewal."