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Coul Links golf course application recommended for refusal by Highland Council planners

By Caroline McMorran

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Highland Council planning officials are recommending that the controversial application for a championship golf course at Coul Links be refused, the Northern Times has been told.

Communities for Coul (C4C)submitted a planning application in Februaryseeking permission to build a multi-million pound golf course at Coul Links, near Embo.

Coul Links, near Embo.
Coul Links, near Embo.

The application is expected to be considered by the Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committeewhen it meets on Wednesday, December 6.

The agenda and background reports for the applications to be decided at that meeting have not yet been made public.

However, the Northern Times has been informed that planners are recommending that the Coul Links application be turned down on environmental grounds. The golf course would be built partly on the Loch Fleet Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

A total of 1074 representationshave been received on the application, including 751 objections and 314 letters of support.

Case officers do not make the final decision on applications - that is up to members of the committee who could decide to give it the go-ahead against official advice.

Councillors voted in June 1018 to approve an earlier, separate application to develop a golf course at Coul Links, against the advice of officials.

Scottish ministers then decided to call in the plans, leading to a public inquirybeing held into the development in 2019.

The Scottish Government announced in February 2020 that that application had been refused.

A spokesperson for Communities for Coul said: “We are disappointed, but unsurprised, by the recommendation, but remain hopeful that councillors will recognise the many benefits our proposed development will bring to the area and approve our application on December 6.

“A previous, separate bid was also recommended for refusal, but approved by a majority of 16 to one by councillors.”

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