Cam­paign­ers call for Trump golf ri­val to re­think High­land course

● Fears over Coul Links dune habi­tat ● Rare moths and in­sects may be lost

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By ILONA AMOS

Con­ser­va­tion­ists are call­ing for a re­think of plans by a US bil­lion­aire busi­ness ri­val of Don­aldtrump­to­turn“anir­re­place­able nat­u­ral jewel” in the High­lands into a world-class cham­pi­onship golf course.

They say cre­at­ing an 18-hole course at Coul Links in Suther­land, near 400-year-old Royal Dornoch, will de­stroy pris­tine sand dune habi­tat and threaten rare species.

Golf im­pre­sario Mike Keiser and Amer­i­can en­tre­pre­neur Todd Warnock are be­hind the new course, which will be de­signed by ac­claimed golf course ar­chi­tects Bill Coore and Ben Cren­shaw.

It has been es­ti­mated it could gen­er­ate around £7.5 mil­lion a year for the lo­cal econ­omy and around £14.8m across the

0 The Cary­ocolum blan­del­loides moth is threat­ened by the devel­op­ment of Coul Links golf course say cam­paign­ers site, in­clud­ing a moth found nowhere else in the UK and the rare Fon­seca’s seed-fly.

“Our records in­di­cate that Coul Links is a very spe­cial place,” said the char­ity’s Dr Tom Prescott .

“Turn­ing Coul Links into a golf course would be a tragedy and would per­ma­nently dam­age a place that is home to many rare species.

“I urge the de­vel­op­ers to think again. There must be more ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tions to de­velop a golf course than an ir­re­place­able nat­u­ral jewel like Coul Links.”

Bruce Wil­son, se­nior pol­icy of­fi­cer for SWT, added: “It will be al­most im­pos­si­ble to con­struct a golf course on Coul Links with­out caus­ing un­ac­cept­able dam­age to in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant sites.”

The de­vel­op­ers in­sist there will be no ho­tel or res­i­den­tial build­ings at the course, stress­ing that the scheme will be sen­si­tive to na­ture.

Mrkeiser,whoowns­ban­don Dunes Golf Re­sort in Ore­gon, said: “Our golf course devel­op­ments aim for min­i­mal in­tru­sion on the land­scape and the ut­most care and re­spect for the en­vi­ron­ment. Our team of en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vi­sors is en­sur­ing com­plete sen­si­tiv­ity to the land, and its lo­ca­tion.”

It’s thought a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion for plan­ning per­mis­sion will be lodged with High­land Coun­cil shortly.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.