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Adrian_Stiff

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #450 on: January 17, 2018, 01:16:12 PM »
Sean - No Objection is what we are looking for when we submit a planning application.


I have had applications with Parish support and one with a mitigation proposal to support which actually contradicted planning law. The officer took no opinion of the Parish council on that occasion.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #451 on: January 17, 2018, 01:59:43 PM »

Adrian,


generally you will have talks with all the required bodies and get where possible their approval prior to putting in for planning. If you get this then the planning officer in the vast majority of cases will pass it without going to committee. Sean is correct about there being no official polls taken of local opinion but it is a stupid councillor who does not check out local opinion on big cases and most will not go against it if they want to be re-elected. Local groups and organisations are canvased for their input but this is not part of the official decision making. SEPA, SNH, Highland Council's diverse departments and neighbouring landowners.


Jon

Adrian_Stiff

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #452 on: January 17, 2018, 05:34:43 PM »
Sounds as if the Scottish system is either very different or your talking total shite.


The English system is pretty much about ticking the boxes. Comply you get planning permission if you don't it is a real problem.


The English system does not do polls of local opinion that I am aware of, if there are any I think they are bootleg. There is a portal to comment and it is available to all. A consultation period is allowed for local bodies to make their comments on the application, if they have problems that can't be mitigated they can object and their opinion if strong, in the overall decision process, they can easily reflect into a refusual and it can be ONE SINGLE THING. If it can be mitigated then suggestions can be conditioned into the decision notice.


A parish council is really just a consulting body. It's recommendation must still be sustainable against planning law or it is worthless though they are likely to influence the planning committee to call it in which results in a planning committee decision.  The applicant is weak against strong planning law and vice versa. It is almost always Applicant versus the PPGs in England.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #453 on: January 18, 2018, 03:48:41 AM »

Adrian,


Of course the Scottish planning system is quite a bit different to the English one. Scotland has always had its own laws and this affects the planning system too. Different building regs and standards, different controlling bodies and different application processes. Less of a case of talking 's#~*e' and more a case of pig ignorance perhaps ;) .
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 04:00:21 AM by Jon Wiggett »

Tim Gallant

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #454 on: January 18, 2018, 04:10:09 AM »
Apologies if this has been covered before, but does anyone know when the decision is likely to come? I have heard middle of January / End of January. Any specific dates?




Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #458 on: March 26, 2018, 11:50:34 AM »
Another important hurdle taken. SNH should also soon follow.

David_Tepper

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Brian_Ewen

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #460 on: May 30, 2018, 01:39:43 AM »
http://www.thenational.scot/news/16254669.Coul_Links_golf_development_close_to_being_given_green_light/





Coul links gold development edges closer to approval from SEPA
National Newsdesk
29th May


SCOTTISH Natural Heritage (SNH) has removed all but one of its objections to a controversial golf course plan, according to the developers behind the project.


They say the move, coupled with the removal of all objections by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), means there is now virtually no statutory opposition to the proposed Coul Links Golf Development at Embo, near Dornoch.


The finalising of SNH’s response concludes a three-year consultation and the plans will go before councillors mext week.


Coul Links co-developer Todd Warnock said: “We are thankful for the extraordinary support and co-operation from almost everyone in the Highlands, especially the local community, as well as the diligence and professionalism of Highland Council, Sepa and SNH.


“After three years of effort we eagerly look forward to the June 5 planning committee.”


The aim is to make Coul Links one of the world’s premier courses, combining economic opportunity and ecological integrity


The developers will not build a hotel on the site, in part so economic benefits can flow to local businesses. They say the project is estimated to deliver 250 jobs and add £60 million gross value to the local economy over the first 10 years.

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #462 on: May 30, 2018, 05:23:43 PM »
Hilarious.


Trump is a "rival" to Mike and Co?   ;D ;D

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #463 on: May 30, 2018, 06:09:26 PM »
And then again...:
https://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/trump-rival-s-plan-for-golf-course-on-rare-scottish-dunes-at-risk-1-4747421


This cute little "newsy video" had approximately ZERO to do with Coul Links yet was 100% dedicated to Donald Trump.
Finally read the "article" which has no real news, research or - for that matter - journalism associated with it whatsoever.


It is more of a last-ditch puff-piece written by a novice who did nothing more than a Google search on the topic from her kitchen table... ;D


For a small contrast, please see the list of organizations, companies, tour groups and LOCAL businesses that are FOR Coul Links:


https://www.coullinks.co.uk/single-post/2018/05/30/SUPPORTING-COUL-LINKS


For "real journalism" on the topic, please let me refer you to Adam Lawrence:


http://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/coul-links-preparing-for-planning-hearing-set-for-5-june




Brian_Ewen

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #464 on: May 31, 2018, 02:49:28 AM »
https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1487017/councillors-face-huge-decision-over-controversial-highland-golf-course-plans/



Councillors face huge decision over controversial Highland golf course plans
by Jamie McKenzie May 31, 2018





Councillors face a huge decision next week after their officials recommended refusing the controversial Coul Links golf course in east Sutherland.


Proposals for the 18-hole championship course by Embo have drawn more than 1,600 objections, with conservationists arguing it will damage dune habitat and wildlife in a designated site of special scientific interest (SSSI).


The plans are being spearheaded by US businessman Todd Warnock and renowned golf course developer Mike Keiser, who say the local environment can be enhanced.


Yesterday, the chairman of local opposition group Not Coul, Tom Dargie, welcomed the council planner’s recommendation and described it as one of “the most unpopular applications” in the history of Highland Council.


But Sutherland Independent Group councillor Jim McGillivray, who lives in Embo, fears his area could lose out on a “once in a century economic opportunity” in a village which, like many others in the north, have “endured generations of poverty, neglect and emigration”.


The planner’s report, unveiled yesterday ahead of next Tuesday’s North Planning Committee, said the Coul proposals go against Highland-wide development plan policies on “sustainable design” and “natural, built and cultural heritage” by causing a “significantly detrimental impact” on the SSSI and an internationally protected wetland site.


The report, written by Gillian Webster, said: “In particular, the Coul Links support some of the best quality SSSI dune slack habitats in Scotland and the proposal, in its current format, will result in significant and permanent loss of sand dune habitat, particularly dune heath and dune slacks and impacts to other species which depend on it.”


The official report, referencing Scottish Natural Heritage’s objection, says although mitigation has been proposed by the developers, the “residual losses are extensive and likely to be permanent” and that natural dune processes will be disrupted, fragmenting habitat.


It also says that “translocation” of dune habitat is “unlikely to be successful” and not an appropriate technique to safeguard an area of such environmental complexity.


But Ms Webster acknowledged that the application represents a “significant development proposal” for Sutherland and that there is clear support for the project locally.


Dornoch Area Community Council say the 34 acres of SSSI directly affected would be better managed and that this, together with the economic benefits, outweighs the environmental concerns.


The developers have repeatedly argued that creating another “world class” golf course close to Royal Dornoch would encourage golfers to stay longer in the east Sutherland area, generating more local jobs and significantly boosting the economy.


Last night Mr Warnock said: “As is customary, Highland Council is required to recommend refusal when a statutory body objects. In this case the single objection from a statutory body is narrow and Highland Council is clear in the absence of that they would be supportive. They also acknowledge the broad local support and significant economic benefit of the project.”


Mr Warnock also thanked the local authority for their “professionalism and dilligence” and said he looks forward to next week’s meeting.


But Mr Dargie said next week’s decision will “set a precedent” as to whether or not Scotland’s designated conservation areas are “for sale at any price,” and urged the developer to put forward an “environmentally responsible” course design instead of making councillors choose between jobs, which he argues would be low paid and seasonal, and a sensitive dune habitat.


Scottish Natural Heritage chief executive Jonny Hughes said the SNH objection demonstrates that the effect on the SSSI goes beyond the area that would be directly damaged, and that the true scale of the impact is still unknown.


Mr Hughes stressed that coastal sand dunes are one of the world’s fastest disappearing habitats and that it would be “extraordinary” if councillors approved the development.


RSPB Scotland also described the council planner’s recommendation as a “major blow” to the Coul Links plans, while Buglife Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland also welcomed the planner’s official report recommending refusal.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #465 on: May 31, 2018, 04:58:58 AM »
The recommendation for refusal should come as no surprise.  However, it isn't all that uncommon for members to go against recommendation especially if there isn't much concern about an expensive appeal. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #466 on: May 31, 2018, 05:10:30 AM »
But Mr Dargie said next week’s decision will “set a precedent” as to whether or not Scotland’s designated conservation areas are “for sale at any price,” and urged the developer to put forward an “environmentally responsible” course design instead of making councillors choose between jobs, which he argues would be low paid and seasonal, and a sensitive dune habitat.

The precedent has already been set at Balmedie, furthermore Trump was urged to use less sensitive land there and refused. The Scottish Government then stepped in to ensure the development got planning. I can't see this being any different even if the local authority planning committee vote against it.

Niall

Marty Bonnar

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #467 on: May 31, 2018, 06:12:49 AM »
Although interestingly Niall, I was wondering if the abject failure to deliver on everything (except the golf course development) at Balmedie will play into the minds of those in power over this proposal.
Time will tell.
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #468 on: May 31, 2018, 06:43:27 AM »
FBD

The proposed Embo development is far more modest than was proposed/promised at Balmedie. Balmedie was to be a two course development (second course hasn’t happened), was to include a 500 bed hotel (hasn’t happened) and a large housing development (hasn’t happened).  I’m not sure whether the proposed clubhouse has now been built, it may well have.

In contrast, at Embo the proposal doesn’t include a hotel or any housing. The developers are also claiming a far smaller economic benefit (£60m from memory compared to the £0.5 billion dollars/£0.5 billion pounds/£1 billion dollars/£1 billion pounds depending on which Trump quote you went by).

One of my gripes on the Balmedie development was how little scrutiny appeared to go into the economic claims. Hopefully that’s not the case at Embo but I do wonder if the supposed economic benefit is a best case scenario. Judging by comment from some of our US friends at BUDA over the weekend, they were a bit sceptical whether it would make much difference in encouraging people to stay in the area for longer and whether there would be a spin off for the likes of Brora and Golspie. I have the same doubts.

Niall 

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #469 on: May 31, 2018, 09:12:47 AM »

I would be surprised if the project did not get approval despite the recommended refusal from the planners as this is standard procedure for when one of the statutory bodies has an objection (slight in this case).


I think that what will go against the likes of RSPB and SNH is the fact that they have spent absolutely zero pounds on this SSSI site in the years since it was declared such despite both admitting the scale of degradation it has suffered since then. Both organisations have more than enough finance to do something about this decline and the fact that they haven't to date nor that they have proposed to in the future speaks volumes.


Lets be honest. The RSPB is objecting because it objects to everything that happens in the Scottish countryside unless it is one of their projects. SNH has raised a minor objections about something that is going to happen anyway if the project does not go ahead and Mr. Dargie is the man behind the ecology at Balmedie but who did not get the job at Coul Links but I am sure that has nothing to do with it.


Niall,


the key thing to begin with will be to get some to stay overnight in the Dornoch area even if they do not visit Golspie, Tain, etc.... At the moment most stay in Inverness and make a day trip up. I suspect the other courses will benefit from European and UK golfers who might stay for a longer time on a multi greenfee ticket such as offered in St.Andrews for those wanting access to Dornoch & Coul Links at a reasonable price.


Jon

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #470 on: May 31, 2018, 09:20:37 AM »
I think it will _probably_ get approved, because there is no doubt that local opinion is very strongly in favour, and it is the local council that will take the decision. Not Coul is all outsiders; check out some of the addresses on their petitions and objectors. But it is not cut and dried; such are the ways of democracy  :)


I don't see the project getting called in by the Scottish Executive. Partly because they got badly burned over Balmedie, and partly because Messrs Warnock and Keiser have made it clear throughout that they are not interested in a drawn-out planning battle. If the council votes no, they walk away.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #471 on: May 31, 2018, 09:21:16 AM »
FBD

In contrast, at Embo the proposal doesn’t include a hotel or any housing. The developers are also claiming a far smaller economic benefit (£60m from memory compared to the £0.5 billion dollars/£0.5 billion pounds/£1 billion dollars/£1 billion pounds depending on which Trump quote you went by).

One of my gripes on the Balmedie development was how little scrutiny appeared to go into the economic claims. Hopefully that’s not the case at Embo but I do wonder if the supposed economic benefit is a best case scenario. Judging by comment from some of our US friends at BUDA over the weekend, they were a bit sceptical whether it would make much difference in encouraging people to stay in the area for longer and whether there would be a spin off for the likes of Brora and Golspie. I have the same doubts.

Niall


This is one of the central points at the genesis of the project and it is not often discussed.


In 2008, after Castle Stuart opened, the town of Dornoch experienced a measurable drop in tourist revenue and hotel night stays.
Financial crisis was first blamed but the trend continued. Tour operators openly admitted that RDGC was now a day trip for their clients who stayed in Inverness as a "hub" and ventured out from there.


Skepticism is always a healthy part of any debate. But, in this one, the TOWNs of Dornoch and Embo see Coul Links as a way to 1) get back to where they WERE pre-2008 and 2) incrementally add to local revenue (hotels, restaurants, retail, adjacent courses) by positioning Dornoch as a "golf and tourist hub" and gateway to the Highlands.


A tangible result has already materialized as a London-based real estate investor purchased the 105 room Dornoch Bay Hotel last year from Shearrings. If Coul is approved, I believe they intend to refurbish the hotel which sits on a fantastic piece of property bordering RDGC's first hole. It is precisely the kind of intended investment touted by the developers - especially as, in contrast to "His Orangeness", Coul will NOT have any housing associated with it.


However, if Coul is not approved, the LOCAL construction/hospitality/golf tourism (incremental) revenue and jobs potentially derived from this one project will vaporize into the North Sea.


For additional "proof points" to the economic skepticsm rightly expressed at BUDA, it may be helpful to look at not one, but three examples and results of the economic impact of a Mike Keiser development at locations arguably more difficult to get to than Dornoch:


1. Bandon Dunes in Bandon, OR


https://theworldlink.com/news/south-coast-strong/bandon-dunes-boosts-entire-south-coast-economy/article_b3a1c52c-cc3b-5df5-864a-543ab5a69448.html


https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1472397/coul-links-would-be-good-for-the-economy-and-environment-says-us-mayor/


2. Cabot Links in Inverness, NS


http://www.thecasket.ca/archives/24454


https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/sports/golf/golf-course-transforms-mining-town-in-nova-scotia.html


https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=887994


3. Sand Valley in Natossa, WI


http://wrcitytimes.com/sand-valley-to-bring-jobs-and-five-star-golf-to-the-area/


http://www.golf.com/courses-and-travel/2017/09/11/wisconsin-approves-4-million-airport-near-sand-valley-after-architects-donation


http://www.sandvalleygolfresort.com/news/2018/2/13/the-wisconsin-wonder-1


And then there's this:


https://www.golfchannel.com/video/keisers-golf-course-saves-nova-scotia-town/







Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #472 on: May 31, 2018, 09:25:14 AM »
Ian -- we know on here what impact Bandon and Cabot have had on their localities, and Sand Valley is starting to have. But there is a fundamental difference between those and Coul -- they are resorts, not standalone golf courses.


Now fwiw I think that Coul will probably do much of what its proponents are hoping. But it's hard to assert proof from the examples you give, because of the difference in the operations.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #473 on: May 31, 2018, 10:04:45 AM »
Ian -- we know on here what impact Bandon and Cabot have had on their localities, and Sand Valley is starting to have. But there is a fundamental difference between those and Coul -- they are resorts, not standalone golf courses.


Now fwiw I think that Coul will probably do much of what its proponents are hoping. But it's hard to assert proof from the examples you give, because of the difference in the operations.


Adam - Fair point...I think..


The differences lie in what, in fact, you correctly point out.


The success of the three prior Keiser properties bring tangible economic benefits to the are (of course) but also to Keiser (and sons/associates) who run the resorts.


In the case of Coul, the incremental hospitality revenue will (theortically) go the existing (or future) independent infrastructure stakeholders in the surrounding area - exactly as intended further underscoring the potential benefit to locals not just outside investors.


But, you are right...time will tell.
From what I have read (and heard when there), there is very strong local support and Coul is seen as a "once in a century" opportunity.


Given that there has been the complete absence of funds, oversight and stewardship of the existing SSSI, and that Keiser has pledged 50K pounds/yr. for environmental assistance, I often wonder about the possible local backlash if the project is scuttled successfully by those who will never be impacted one way or another.


Adam, was there an equal (local, national or group) resistance to this new course: [size=78%]http://www.golfcoursearchitecture.net/content/New-Dumbarnie-Links-course-on-Scottish-coast-gets-green-light[/size]  ?
 

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #474 on: May 31, 2018, 10:35:17 AM »
Dumbarnie has flown below the radar throughout. They started construction last week, but you'd never know it... (it's also not on an SSSI, so far as I am aware).
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

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