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Skye villagers kick up a stink over fish feed factory pong

Bags of feed being loaded at Mowi’s new salmon feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye
Bags of feed being loaded at Mowi’s new salmon feed plant at Kyleakin on Skye

Residents in the village of Kyleakin on Skye have raised complaints about an odour and a humming sound – which they say has started since the construction of a new salmon feed plant.

The construction phase of the Mowi-operated facility – which cost £100million – is now complete, with the plant entering its commissioning phase back in May.

The company says it is “confident” it will resolve the issues.

Residents of the south Skye village have noticed some unwanted additions to the village from the new facility since operations went live.

One resident said: “It’s not all the time that you get the smell but I have certainly noticed it on occasion.

“It’s a strange smell and quite hard to describe.

“It seems you can only smell it in certain parts of the village or if the wind is blowing in a specific direction.

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“It was one of the biggest concerns most people had prior to the plant being built but I understand they are trying to resolve it.”

Another added: “We stay not too far away from where it is and there is definitely a humming sound that wasn’t there before.”

Mowi, formerly kown as Marine Harvest, has accepted that there is an issue, with teams carrying out checks in and around the village twice a day to assess the odour problem.

Claes Jonermark, Mowi’s operations director, said: “We are in regular communication with our neighbours regarding concerns they have raised about noise and smell emanating from the new feed mill, which is still in its commissioning phase.

“We have engineering experts on site now who are specifically looking at where the odour may be coming from and will determine a remedy.

“In addition, we have introduced a monitoring programme to record odour emissions from the feed mill.”

Mr Jonermark added: “Odour emissions are being checked at specific points around Kyleakin twice a day. We are confident we will solve the issue and are engaging with our neighbours to ensure they are aware of our efforts and solutions.”

The commissioning phase of the plant is expected to continue throughout the summer months before moving into the continuous production of commercial feed.

Local councillor Calum MacLeod said: “With the scale of the operation it doesn’t surprise me that there may be bedding-in issues.

“I am happy to ensure that obviously the fears and concerns of the community are raised and further investigative work has to be done to allay these fears and to get to the bottom of the issue.

“I very much welcome the employment aspect the plant is delivering – however, I am still very mindful of some of the negative issues.

“If there are noise and smells I am very keen to get these addressed and I am sure Mowi will work to resolve any issues that have become the concern of the community.”

The new factory is expected to provide a £2 million boost to the local economy.

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