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23 Nov 2017

Golf course sets the wrong course

Coul Links beach
The National Trust for Scotland has challenged the proposed destruction of a key Highland coastal habitat to make way for a golf course.

The Trust has submitted a formal objection to a planning application made by Coul Links Limited to build an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and associated buildings, in addition to an access road, on top of a protected sand dune system.

The Trust’s objection adds to many others made by people and organisations concerned at the loss of Coul Links and also questions the economic value claimed for the project.

Coul Links 2

Coul Links, © Mark Foxwell

The National Trust for Scotland’s Head of Natural Heritage Policy, Stuart Brooks said: “The Coul Links are an example of an increasingly rare coastal habitat of international significance.

“This beautiful and wild place should continue to be protected for the nation.

“While it is perfectly understandable that local people want and need jobs, we know from the Dornoch Area Community Interest Company that it is the area’s outstanding natural environment that is the biggest draw for visitors, and this could and should be a positive foundation for sustainable economic development.

Coul Links 3

Coul Links, © Mark Foxwell

“The Coul Links and the dune heath sustain a wide variety of internationally important wildlife, including plants, birds and insects. They represent an increasingly rare part of Scotland’s natural heritage and it is our obligation as a nation to cherish places like this for the long-term in the face of calls for what might well be illusory short-term benefit.”