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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Coul Links Review a Big Step Towards Halting Environmental Vandalism

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Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands, Ariane Burgess, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to ‘call in’ and review Highland Council’s decision to grant planning consent to a garish golf course development on Coul Links.

Ms Burgess led a 4500 strong petition calling on the Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning to review the controversial application, which she has said would be an act of ‘environmental vandalism.’

Others raising objections have included RSPB Scotland, Ramblers Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

It was also opposed by NatureScot and planning officers due to the impact it would have on the local environment and biodiversity.

Coul Links is one of the last areas of undeveloped, species-rich dune habitat in Scotland.

It’s a spectacular site of environmental and scientific significance, holding several important international environmental designations.

The decision means that Scottish Government experts will review the case and make recommendations to Ministers, who will make a final decision.

Ms Burgess said:

“This is a crucial decision for local wildlife and a big step towards protecting our iconic landscapes and nature.

“Coul Links is a critically important site and should be celebrated and enhanced, not smothered with a golf course.

“The proposed development would be an act of environmental vandalism and would have a terrible impact on the rare species who depend on the specific habitat to live.

“That’s why it has been so firmly opposed by so many local people, conservation groups and wildlife champions.

“The proposals fly in the face of new planning laws that were brought in last year following extensive consultation and that emphasise the environmental and biodiversity impact of decisions.

“This is the second time a plan for a totally inappropriate development on Coul Links has been brought forward.

“There are already high quality courses where people can play a great game without such a damaging impact to our local environment.

“Yet again, local communities and environmental groups have had to fight against multi-millionaire developers.

“Last time the Scottish Government ruled against the proposals, and I am confident that they will do so again.

“I’m grateful to everyone who has put in objections and taken the time to support my campaign to save Coul Links.”

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