The developers of a world class golf course have welcomed significant progress on their plans with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) removing its objections to the project.
SEPA confirmed in a letter to Highland Council (23rd March) that previous areas of concern had been removed after constructive dialogue with the team behind the Coul Links proposals.
The Coul Links team had submitted additional information in support of its applications earlier this year. In its letter to the Highland Council, SEPA wrote how ‘this new information enables us to remove our objection to the planning applications’.
Todd Warnock, developer of Coul Links, said: “We are very pleased with the thorough and professional dialogue we have had with SEPA over the last almost three years.
“We have taken the time to work constructively together to ensure the environmental integrity of the site and at the same time to advance one of the largest private investments in the history of Sutherland. We are now also looking forward to the response letter which is expected from Scottish Natural Heritage.”
All of the appropriate documents relating to the application are available on the Highland Council website now that their issues with uploading them have been resolved.
The team has submitted plans for a world class golf course near Embo in Sutherland, which will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stimulate the economy and enhance the environment locally.
The plans, which are supported by an overwhelming proportion of the local population, will generate 250 new jobs and more than £60 million gross value-added during its first decade of operation.
SEPA submitted its original comments on the plans in December, in what the developers called a ‘thoughtful and constructive response’.
The Coul Links project is proposed near Embo by Todd Warnock, proprietor of the Links House Hotel and Carnegie Courthouse retail centre in Dornoch, and world-famous course developer Mike Keiser.
Mike Keiser, developer of Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links and Sand Valley golf resorts, is perhaps the golf industry’s most respected developer and environmentalist. His links courses are all extraordinary examples of remote communities working in partnership to achieved substantial economic benefit from his courses. He will work with architects Coore Crenshaw, one of the most respected golf architects in the world.
The project is backed by Embo Trust, on behalf of the entire Embo community, which has expressed unequivocal support for the project and will receive an income stream from their direct investment.
An overwhelming number of local people, businesses, public sector agencies, golf clubs and tourism specialists have confirmed their support for Coul Links.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The developers filed a planning application on Sept 22, 2017 after an exhaustive 2-year process of economic and environmental assessment. Six public consultation events were held locally and the overwhelming majority of those who attended remain firmly behind the project.
Since 1988, invasive species have grown by 333 per cent at the site, covering more than five hectares. As a commitment to environmental integrity, the developers have agreed, in close conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage, to implement a fully funded Site Management Plan.
Specifically, the developers will commit funds annually to maintain and enhance the entire site thus preserving it in perpetuity at no cost to the taxpayer.