Renewed Highland golf course plan has environmentalists crying ‘Fore!’

Renewed Highland golf course plan has environmentalists crying ‘Fore!’

Scottish government rejected a new links at Coul to protect the complex dune system but investors have revived the scheme

It is an area so tranquil that the notion of bitter dispute is hugely anomalous. The serenity of Coul – in east Sutherland, north of Dornoch – is in fact fundamental to a backdrop of unrest.

When the Scottish government rejected a plan for a golf course at Coul early last year, it appeared those with grand plans had nowhere else to turn. This marked a victory for environmentalists who argued one of the most complex dune systems in Scotland and a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) should not be compromised. “The harmful impacts to protected habitats and species would outweigh the potential socio-economic benefits,” said Kevin Stewart, then planning minister. Anne McCall, the director of RSPB Scotland, said: “These damaging proposals threatened a site of global importance for nature and should never have made it this far.”

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