An aquaculture firm has obtained resource consent to farm oysters in the outer Marlborough Sounds.
Marlborough District Council has approved Beleve Ltd's application to build a three-hectare farm at Oyster Bay in Croisilles Harbour.
Six property owners objected to the application, saying it could reduce the productivity of existing marine farms and natural cockle beds.
But the council said there was no ecological evidence of this and that there were not enough farms in the region to inhibit production.
Concerns over the farm being a navigational hazard were also rejected as the harbourmaster said the company's application met new maritime safety criteria.
Beleve now has to apply through the Aquaculture Act for the next stage of approval.