Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Huge public reaction to Coul Links gold course plans

Coul Links, where a proposed golf course would be built.
Coul Links, where a proposed golf course would be built.

More than 1,170 objections have been lodged with Highland Council’s planning department over controversial plans for the Coul Links gold course development in Sutherland.

A total of 339 letters have also been lodged in support of the 18-hole development, submitted in September by American businessman Todd Warnock and renowned golf course developer Mike Keiser.

Campaigners say the golf course will damage dunes and wildlife at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), while the developers say they want to enhance the ecology of the site and stress that just 34.6 acres – 1.8% – of the whole SSSI would be impacted.

Supporters say it will boost local jobs in hospitality as golfers will be encouraged to say longer in the East Sutherland area and play other local golf courses.

Yesterday Tom Dargie, chairman of the Not Coul campaign group, said another 12,000 people who signed a petition against the proposals may still be trying to lodge their objections with Highland Council.

He said: “I think the numbers reflect the way in which people’s awareness of these issues have really been heightened after the Trump development (Menie). There are differences between the Trump course and what’s at Coul, but I think that this has driven the scale of opposition.”

But Dornoch Area Community Council chairwoman Yvonne Ross said that, to date, the community council “has not had one phone call, e-mail or letter from any members of the public”.

And she stressed that with previous major planning applications in the local community, including a flats development in the town’s Square – which had more than 200 objections – and a quarry development in nearby Camore, she received “lots” of calls and e-mails raising concerns.

Mrs Ross said: “To my knowledge the community council has had nothing.

“The majority of locals are desperate for it. It’s hard to find someone on the street who is against it.”

But Mr Dargie argued that Not Coul has counted between 200 and 300 local postcodes – from Tain to Brora and Lairg – obtained through signatories to two petitions objecting to the plans.

A coalition made up of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, the Marine Conservation Society, Plantlife and RSPB Scotland has also been campaigning to stop the proposals.

But the project took a step forward last month after it emerged that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency withdrew its objection after the developers provided more information following environmental concerns, including disruption to groundwater-dependent terrestrial ecosystems.

Already a subscriber? Sign in