Published: 26/03/2018 01:00 - Updated: 25/03/2018 16:20

SEPA withdraw objections to Coul Golf Course development


The controversial proposed golf course at Coul Links - plans are currently with the Highland Council
The controversial proposed golf course at Coul Links - plans are currently with the Highland Council


It was announced over the weekend that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has removed its objections to the proposed golf course development at Coul Links near  Embo.

SEPA confirmed in a letter to Highland Council that previous areas of concern had been removed after constructive dialogue with the team behind the Coul Links proposals.

The Coul Links team had submitted additional information in support of its applications earlier this year. In its letter to the Highland Council, SEPA wrote that “this new information enables us to remove our objection to the planning applications”.

Todd Warnock, one of the  developers behind the Coul Links project, said: “We are very pleased with the thorough and professional dialogue we have had with SEPA over the last almost three years.

“We have taken the time to work constructively together to ensure the environmental integrity of the site and at the same time to advance one of the largest private investments in the history of Sutherland. We are now also looking forward to the response letter which is expected from Scottish Natural Heritage.”

All of the appropriate documents relating to the application are available on the Highland Council website.

The plans for the world-class golf course will generate 250 new jobs and more than £60 million gross value-added during its first decade of operation, say the developers.

SEPA submitted its original comments on the plans in December, in what the developers called a “thoughtful and constructive response”.

The Coul Links project is being developed by Mr Warnock, proprietor of the Links House Hotel and Carnegie Courthouse retail centre in Dornoch, and world-famous course developer Mike Keiser.

Mr Keiser, developer of Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links and Sand Valley golf resorts, will work with architects Coore Crenshaw, one of the most respected golf architects in the world.

The project is backed by Embo Trust, on behalf of the Embo community, which has expressed support for the project and will receive an income stream from their direct investment.

An overwhelming number of local people, businesses, public sector agencies, golf clubs and tourism specialists have confirmed their support for Coul Links.

However, there has also been an on-line petition with more than 88,000  signatories from across the world opposing the development.

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