Highlands course project set for public inquiry

Coul Links Copy

A public inquiry into the proposed 18-hole championship golf course at Coul Links is likely to be held early next year.

In August, the Scottish Government announced it was calling in plans for the Sutherland course, despite councillors voting to give the project the go-ahead in June, largely due to the economic impact it would bring to the area.

“The proposal raises issues of national importance in relation to natural heritage issues and its compliance with Scottish planning policy and requires further scrutiny,” explained Scottish Planning Minister Kevin Stewart.

• Scots quartet on brink of graduating to European Tour

• Membership benefits of new St Andrews club revealed

About 32 acres (13 ha) of the planned course would be built on dunes at Embo, near Dornoch and now, a coalition made up of conservation groups Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Marine Conservation Society, National Trust for Scotland, Plantlife Scotland, RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust are rallying against the development.

Coul Links Revised Layout1

The conservation groups say that building the golf course would have a 'devastating environmental impact' in an area that is incredibly important for wildlife and heavily protected by several environmental designations.

However, project manager Chris Haspell has consistently reassured the organisations of the good intentions that the developers Mike Keiser – who owns Bandon Dunes – and Todd Warnock have.

Speaking to bunkered.co.uk last year, Haspell said: We’re a responsible developer, we’re going to do the right thing, and we’re going to secure the whole 800 hectares.

• New holes to be built at erosion-hit links

• City golf centre set for £9m expansion

“We are going to disrupt the area during construction. That’ll be the case for 18 months. But once it’s in place, it’ll give people better access and we’re going to set aside £15-20,000 per year on maintenance – gorse management, birch management, making the land better for nesting birds."

A pre-examination meeting has been organised by the Scottish Government Planning and Environmental Appeals Division in Dornoch tomorrow (October 31).

This meeting will outline the processes that will be followed to determine whether or not the development can go ahead. The initial meeting comes ahead of the public inquiry that could last up to five weeks and is likely to start on February 25.

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
£519 DRIVER vs £150 DRIVER | What's the difference?
Titleist
play button
FINDING THE PERFECT IRON | Callaway Apex custom fitting
Callaway
play button
THE ARRAN GOLF MARATHON - EPISODE 4
Arran Golf Marathon
play button
THE WEDGES FOR EVERY GREENSIDE SHOT – Callaway JAWS Full Toe review
Callaway JAWS Full Toe
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Ryder Cup: Kevin Na is latest to hit out at snub from Stricker
Butch Harmon has a plan to settle Bryson-Brooks feud
Trailer drops for new golf movie - and it looks hilarious!
REVEALED: Why Tyrrell Hatton gets angry on the course
Ryder Cup legend tells Brooks Koepka to "relinquish his spot"

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
A bad grip will lead to bad swings
Watch
play button
How to improve your takeaway
Callaway
play button
How to improve your ball striking
Watch
play button
Complete your backswing
Watch
See all videos right arrow