NatureScot's objection to Coul Links welcomed by Green MSP Ariane Burgess
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Green MSP Ariane Burgess has welcomed the objection submitted by NatureScot to revived proposals by community group Communities for Coul (C4C) to build a championship golf course at Coul Links.
Ms Burgess said; “Despite the claims of the developers to have responded to the issues raised in relation to the previous application’s environmental impact, the objection from NatureScot makes it clear the scheme is incompatible with the new National Planning Framework due to its impact on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.”
The National Planning Framework reflects changes to the planning system developed since the Scottish Greens entered a power sharing agreement with the SNP in 2021.
Ms Burgess, who led the party’s work on the framework, pushed for the framework to focus on protecting the environment over unsustainable development.
“Coul links is a spectacular site of environmental significance and has several important international designations. It’s vital that Scotland maintains high environmental standards and the Greens will continue to keep local authorities and the Scottish Government’s decision making under scrutiny," she said.
“While I understand the local desire for new job opportunities, as we saw from the Trump development in Aberdeenshire, these opportunities often prove to be far smaller than those originally claimed and undermine the possibility of more sustainable, nature-based and climate-friendly opportunities in land management.
“I continue to work with Highland Council, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Social Enterprise Scotland to look at ways to deliver long-term, sustainable and well-paid work for the people of Sutherland without threatening its precious environment.”
A C4C spokesman said: "We are, along with our professional advisers, carefully considering NatureScot’s submission. Once we have done so, we will respond fully to its contents."