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Islands (Scotland) Act 2018

Section 22 – Meaning of “development activity”

52.This section defines “development activity” for the purposes of Part 6 of the Act, setting out the kinds of activity which are to be subject to the licensing scheme to be created by regulations under section 24.

53.Subsection (1) provides for sea-based construction, alteration and improvement works in general, and also for dredging, to be “development activities” and thus licensable under this Part. These are also licensable (along with numerous other activities) under the marine licensing regime created by Part 4 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”).

54.Paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (2) explicitly exclude activities relating to the reserved areas of oil and gas, defence and pollution from the definition of “development activity”. Therefore these activities will not be subject to the requirement for a licence under regulations made under section 24. This makes similar provision to section 34 of the 2010 Act. Paragraph (d) of subsection (2) also excludes fish farming from the definition of “development activity” – again, this will not be subject to the requirement for a licence under regulations made under section 24. This is because planning permission from a local authority is already required for fish farming. In this way the Act is consistent with the Town and Country Planning (Marine Fish Farming) (Scotland) Order 2007 (S.S.I. 2007/268), which provided amendments to a range of primary and secondary legislation to allow for the consideration of planning applications for new fish farms by planning authorities. This included amendments to the Orkney County Council Act 1974 and the Zetland County Council Act 1974 to disapply the provisions relating to works licences in respect of the placing or assembly of equipment in marine waters for the purposes of marine fish farming. The definition of fish farming itself is imported from section 26 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 – that is, “the breeding, rearing or keeping of fish or shellfish (which includes any kind of crustacean or mollusc).”

55.Paragraph (e) of subsection (2) provides that, as well as fish farming under paragraph (d) of subsection (2), other forms of fishing are not defined as a development activity under the Act.

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