Coul Links rejection recommendation 'right response', says Green MSP
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Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands today welcomed the recommendation by north planning officers to to refuse planning consent for a golf course on Coul Links, near Embo.
Ms Burgess said: “Coul Links is a spectacular site of environmental significance and has several important international environmental designations.
"This was the first real test in the Highlands of the new environmental protections brought in through the National Planning Framework 4 and it was reassuring to see that so many of the environmental and biodiversity priorities that the Greens in Government built into the framework were cited by planning officers as reasons for refusal.”
Ms Burgess, who objected to the application on a number of grounds, also praised the work of local campaigners Not Coul in their efforts to raise the issue.
“While the developers behind this scheme spent significant sums claiming to be the voice of local communities, it was clear that many residents value and cherish this special and unique landscape," she said.
"I urge the councillors considering this application next week to listen to their voices; they also speak for the voiceless wildlife that depends on this rare and precious habitat.
“We can and must deliver long-term, sustainable and well-paid work for local people without threatening its precious environment.”
The planning application will be considered by the North Highland Planning Committee on December 6.
As a statutory consultee, Nature Scot, has objected to the plans, any decision to recommend will be subject to review by Scottish Government Ministers.