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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charities fight controversial Coul golf plans - again

This news post is 7 months old

They say resurrected 18 hole course scheme again threatens precious habitats

A coalition of charity and environmental groups has again rallied to fight off golf course plans which could destroy precious wildlife habitat.

Plans for a massive development on the Coul Links in Sutherland were rejected by the Scottish Government after much argument in 2020.

However, a group called Communities For Coul (C4C) has resurrected the plans for an 18-hole championship course in the area of sensitive coastal dunes.

C4C says the development will bring much needed jobs to the area. But a coalition of seven environmental organisations has expressed fears about the potential impact.

They point to the degradation of habitat after Donald Trump was controversially allowed to build a golf course at Menie.

RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, National Trust for Scotland, Marine Conservation Society, Plantlife, Butterfly Conservation and Buglife have raised the alarm about the golf Coul plans.

They are concerned the location - between Golspie and Dornoch - remains the same as the previous application, which has dunes and is home to a wide range of wildlife. It is listed as a site of special scientific interest.

Bruce Wilson, from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: "We are really concerned that the internationally-protected Coul Links is once again under threat from a golf course.

"The Scottish government refused the last proposal in February 2020 because of the significant impacts it would have had.

"Since then, part of the dunes at Menie, where Donald Trump was allowed to build a golf course despite many concerns being raised, have lost their protected status due to the damage caused by another insensitive development."

Gordon Sutherland, a director of C4C, said: "Local people are most definitely in favour of this development - that gave us the mandate to make a second planning application.

"We're trying to address the environmental aspects, but also build on the social economic aspects.

"The support of the local communities, I think, is largely driven by the economic benefits that they see that this golf course would bring to their communities."



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