Uproar at golf course plan that would decimate Aberdeenshire woodland
A Scottish charity is fighting one of the world’s most iconic sportsmen’s attempts to build a golf course in Aberdeenshire.
Woodland Trust Scotland say the Jack Nicklaus designed development at the Ury Estate near Stonehaven, which includes proposals to build 90 houses, would have disastrous effects on local woodland.
If plans are given the go ahead by Aberdeenshire Council at a meeting on 28 April, 25.5 hectares of irreplaceable ancient woodland would be lost the charity says.
One of the ancient woods likely to be affected is Slicewell Wood, which is renowned for its habitat and high ecological diversity, including red squirrel, pine marten, and numerous bats and birds.
I just hope that the councillors won’t be dazzled by celebrity into u-turning on their existing planning policy
The trust is urging anyone who opposes the proposed development to contact the councillors responsible for making the decision and share their objections directly before the meeting. It has set up an online form making it easier for this to be done with over 1,600 people already having done so.
“After the furore approving Donald Trump’s golf course Aberdeenshire Council were very clear about the sort of developments that it would approve when it drew up its official development plan, and the scale of this proposal far exceeds what the plan considers acceptable,” Charles Dundas from the Woodland Trust Scotland said.
"I just hope that the councillors won’t be dazzled by celebrity into u-turning on their existing planning policy, and will think about the huge environmental damage that destroying this woodland would cause.”
The development, which has a reported price tag of £80 million to build, will be carried out by the FM Group and if given the go ahead would become the only course in the UK which was part of Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Family, which comprises courses in 25 countries.
Nicklaus is a retired US golfer, widely regarded as the best ever having won 18 major championships – four more than Tiger Woods.