Golf resort blocked on habitats impact

Habitat impacts rule out plans for an 18-hole golf course in the north of Scotland supported by the local authority, the Scottish Government has decided.

The site lay close to an SSSI and areas protected for their importance to marine and other birds. Inquiry reporters found that the development’s impact on wintering and breeding birds was likely to be significant, with dune heath and grassland within the SSSI also being compromised. The proposal would compromise the integrity of a special protection area for wildlife and planned mitigation was unlikely to be adequate, they advised.

After weighing the potential economic benefits of attracting more tourists into the area, including many from America, the Scottish Government endorsed the reporters’ recommendation. These benefits were of local and regional rather than national significance, it concluded. The need to protect world-class environmental assets and natural heritage was the primary consideration, it held. In the absence of adequate mitigation, it decided, the scheme would not involve a sustainable form of development.

Reporters: David Liddell and Timothy Brian; Inquiry

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