Green MSP Ariane Burgess 'shocked' at Coul Links decision
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands has said she is shocked at the decision by Highland councillors today to grant planning consent for a golf course at Coul Links.
Ms Burgess said: "Coul Links is a spectacular site of environmental significance and has several important international environmental designations.
"The new National Planning Framework, brought in earlier this year following extensive consultation, emphasises environmental and biodiversity priorities.
"The conflict between these plans and those policies was made clear by local planning officers, who recommended refusal of the plans.
“This is the second time a plan for a totally inappropriate golf development on this land has been brought forward and the second time that the application will need to be reconsidered by Government Ministers.
“Local residents value and cherish this special and unique landscape and it’s deeply disappointing that councillors on the committee opted to ignore those concerns as well as those raised by environmental groups on behalf of the voiceless wildlife that depends on this rare and precious habitat.
“Low paid, low quality seasonal jobs of the type offered by these developments – particularly when there is already a shortage of workers in the hospitality sector – is not the kind of long-term, sustainable economic development the area needs. I will be calling on the Scottish Government to reconsider this decision and to uphold Scotland’s planning policies and the wishes of the local community.”