Finnie welcomes Coul Links ‘Call in’

Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie has today (24/08/2018) welcomed news that the Scottish Government will ‘call in’ the Coul Links planning application.

Mr Finnie wrote to the Scottish Government in June requesting that they call in the application.

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John Finnie MSP at Coul Links

Commenting, Mr Finnie said:

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Government has taken the decision to call in the Coul Links application. There are serious concerns that this proposed development could irreparably damage the magnificent natural dune environment at Coul Links and I am pleased the Minister has recognised the need for further scrutiny. I have been making the case that the significant protections afforded to this site must actually mean something, as have conservation charities, and even the Scottish Government’s own natural heritage agency objected. Now that this application rests with the Scottish Ministers I know the many Highlanders that have been in touch with me in recent months will be expecting them to thoroughly scrutinise the environmental evidence – something the Highland Council failed to do – and in the face of that overwhelming evidence, reject the application.”

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John’s letter requesting the application be called in.

Finnie Calls for Scottish Government to Stop Prevaricating on Coul Links

In response to the decision of Scottish Ministers to extend their consideration on whether to call in the Coul Links planning application, John Finnie, Green MSP for Highlands and Islands, said:

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John Finnie MSP at Coul Links

“The proposed golf development at Coul Links presents a significant threat to a nationally and internationally protected site on the shores of Loch Fleet. Highland Council’s North Planning Committee completely ignored the environmental evidence and it is therefore vital that the Scottish Government step up and call in this proposal, which its own natural heritage agency objected to. Allowing this proposal to go ahead, in the face of all the evidence, would completely undermine environmental designations across Scotland. I have been inundated with correspondence from constituents in the Highlands and Islands, over 1300 to date, opposed to this environmental vandalism.”

“Before parliament went into recess the First Minister assured me that ‘It is our intention to honour obligations that currently arise from EU membership, but we have been clear in our resolve not to see environmental protections or other protections downgraded as a result of Brexit.’ In light of this commitment it is difficult to understand the need for a delay, when this development threatens international obligations such as the Ramsar Convention, and I once again urge the Scottish Government to stop prevaricating on this issue and call in the application without further delay.”