Published: 29/07/2016 17:00 - Updated: 28/07/2016 11:18

Meeting will take Coul Links golf course proposals a step forward

Coul Links looking north.
Coul Links looking north.

A PROPOSAL of application notice (PAN) for the development of an 18-hole golf course on Coul Links near Dornoch goes before the north area planning committee on Tuesday.

The submission of a PAN is required under the planning act and may form the basis of a subsequent planning application.

Planners recommend to the committee that members “note the submission of the PAN and advise of any issues they wish to be brought to the applicant’s attention”.

US golf entrepreneurs Mike Keiser and Todd Warnock are proposing to develop links land to the north of Embo into a world class championship course.

The plans are causing some controversy locally with conservationists calling for surveys on the rare Fonseca’s seed fly which is only found on this stretch of coastline, and an online petition opposing the proposal. So far this has attracted 297 signatures.

But it has emerged that another online petition has been set up by A Macdonald in support of the development.

The statement from A Macdonald (at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/support-for-coul-links-golf-course) reads: “We believe that the benefits to the local area with this proposed development could be massive, both in relation to the local tourism trade and the job opportunities it will provide.

“This has the real possibility of being the single most important and valuable development for generations of Embo residents and also for the whole of the Dornoch area. Mike Keiser is renowned in the golf industry as someone who has influenced incredible regeneration of towns as a direct result of his golf course builds.

“The developers have also given assurances that no housing or hotels will be built, just a suitable clubhouse and a world class course.

“The assigned architects, Coore & Crenshaw, are world class designers of the most natural modern courses. They are renowned for their instinctive approach to natural design, using the land’s natural features and limiting earth moving. There are no better architects in golf suited to Coul Links.

“Coul Links will also benefit greatly from being a managed habitat for wildlife, controlling some invasive species that threaten the links.”

It has so far received 267 signatures in support.

Comments include:

“I’m signing because a golf course here will be awesome in a beautiful part of the world.”

“This is a great project that will help the community for decades to come.”

“To keep young people in the area with jobs and to host the local economy. Also for another world class golf course in the area. Conservation of an SSSI site has worked beautifully at Machrihanish dunes golf course, it can here.”

“I  was brought up in Embo and the links were my view from my bedroom. It is about time that something was done to help the lack of work and to help the poverty in the area.”

It is expected that the developers will hold further public consultations later next month when more detailed plans will be unveiled.

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