A CONSULTATION event to discuss the planned new Coul Links golf course at Embo with the local community is set to take place next month, with developers saying this will be the first stage in an extensive consultation exercise.
It is hoped that a planning application for the development could be lodged by the end of the year, with construction possibly starting next spring.
A presentation on Coul Links was made to Dornoch Community Council at its meeting last Wednesday.
The ambitious project is being progressed by golf course developer Mike Keiser and entrepreneur Todd Warnock, in conjunction with golf course architect Bill Coore and world-renowned golfer Ben Crenshaw.
Mr Warnock said: “An initial public consultation event is planned for mid-July at which we will share details of the project and gather initial views.”
He said a second public meeting would follow at the end of August and would be attended by himself, Mr Keiser and Mr Coore.
More detailed information will emerge at that meeting regarding the course design and site plan.
“Bill Coore has just completed his fourth visit to the site and is tremendously excited about his preliminary layout,” Mr Warnock said.
A series of meetings has been held between developers and the relevant regulatory bodies including Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. He said feedback from all three had been positive.
“A proposal of application notice is being prepared and will shortly be lodged with the local authority,” Mr Warnock said.
“This signals the project team’s intention to work towards submission of a detailed planning application later this year.”
Developers are also hoping to provide a park for Embo near the seaside village’s football pitch, adjacent to Coul Links. Talks are being held with Embo Community Trust.
“These discussions also covered our desire to develop and enhance the existing walking trails on Coul Links and integrate them into the project,” Mr Warnock said.
The proposed caddy shop, pro shop and clubhouse on the course would all reflect the buildings on the Coul farmstead, which date back to 1875.
“We intend to adopt the same style and the same stone,” Mr Warnock said.
He added that all four involved with the development were excited about the prospect of delivering a world-class championship golf course and being a major economic catalyst in the area.
“We are hard at work, pleased with the progress we are making, and thankful for all the support we have received,” he said.