Coul Links golf course refused planning permission by ministers
27 February 2020
BBC news 21 February 2020
A controversial plan to build an 18-hole championship golf course in the Highlands has been refused planning permission by the Scottish government.
About 32 acres of the planned course was proposed for dunes at Coul Links at Embo, near Dornoch.
Highland councillors gave the project the go-ahead last June, before Scottish ministers called in the planning application for further scrutiny.
Following a public inquiry, the government has refused permission.
In their decision, Scottish ministers said the plan would have supported economic growth and rural development.
But they agreed with government-appointed planning officials' findings that the golf course would have "significant" effects on rare plantlife, wintering and breeding birds and the the dunes themselves.
The government said the "likely detriment to natural heritage is not outweighed by the socio-economic benefits of the proposal".
Scottish Green Party MSP John Finnie commented on the decision
“I am absolutely delighted that this ill thought out and unsuitable application has been rejected. It seems the Scottish Government has learned the lesson from the disastrous decision to grant permission for Trump’s course in Aberdeenshire after all.
“Coul links is a spectacular site of environmental significance and has several important international designations. I welcome the fact that Ministers have made clear that post Brexit they will seek to maintain high environmental standards, they can be assured that Greens will continue to keep them under scrutiny in that regard in the long term.
“It’s important that the Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise now look at how they can deliver long term, sustainable and well paid work for the people of Sutherland, without threatening its precious environment.”
Image - Julian Paren
Image - BBC News
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