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Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #525 on: June 05, 2018, 02:42:17 PM »
I doubt it can be anything of substance as if it were 'not coul' would have splashed it up all over the place. Suspect it is a last gasp attempt to frustrate but time will tell.

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #526 on: June 20, 2018, 12:30:23 PM »
Just a quick post to say that the Coul Links' application was approved by the Highland Council today.

Howard Riefs

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"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke


Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #529 on: June 20, 2018, 01:26:59 PM »
There is now a 28 day review period where government can get involved.
I would imagine that there will be appeals and protests filed.


Keep in mind that Trump's project was shot down initially but then went to parliament (I think) where it was overturned and approved during this 28 day period.




Tim Gallant

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #530 on: June 20, 2018, 01:38:13 PM »
Admittedly, I would like to see this go ahead, but that Scotsman article is the most biased piece of writing I have seen in a very long time. It talks so little about the overwhelming support by the locals and the councillors, and instead, makes it sound as if the opposition is indeed larger than it actually is.


Further, they clearly have an agenda when they start a sentence 'Wealthy American golf moguls...'. How does the developers being wealthy have anything to do with the controversy?! Would it be less controversial if they were poor? I imagine they add this in to try to strengthen the nonexistent link between Coul Links and Trump Aberdeen.


Very sad from a paper I respect so little in the first place.

Niall C

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #531 on: June 21, 2018, 06:09:14 AM »
Tim

In fairness every environmental group I can think of was against it in principle and there was a petition with 90,000 signatures against the development. Furthermore the Councilís own planners recommended refusal so however you look at it that is a fair degree of opposition.

As for the wealthy American golf moguls comment, well they are wealthy American golf moguls are they not ? Itís just unfortunate for them that in this country Donald Trump has given wealthy American golf moguls a bad name.

The only difference I can see in the tone of the coverage is that it is slanted a bit more towards the opposition whereas before it was more slanted towards the developer. Thatís just how the press works, build them up and then knock them down. I donít think thatís peculiar to the Scotsman.

Niall

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #532 on: June 21, 2018, 07:41:18 AM »
Having admittedly been sitting on the fence about whether this project would go ahead or not.... I can now say that I will be planning a 2020 trip to the area.


Was due to return anyway but very keen to see what a C&C course on genuine links land will look like...


So now excited on the go.

Tim Gallant

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #533 on: June 21, 2018, 07:43:11 AM »
Tim

In fairness every environmental group I can think of was against it in principle and there was a petition with 90,000 signatures against the development. Furthermore the Councilís own planners recommended refusal so however you look at it that is a fair degree of opposition.

As for the wealthy American golf moguls comment, well they are wealthy American golf moguls are they not ? Itís just unfortunate for them that in this country Donald Trump has given wealthy American golf moguls a bad name.

The only difference I can see in the tone of the coverage is that it is slanted a bit more towards the opposition whereas before it was more slanted towards the developer. Thatís just how the press works, build them up and then knock them down. I donít think thatís peculiar to the Scotsman.

Niall


Niall,


I get your point, and normally I would agree. But read the BBC report:


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-44537876


They lay out the facts, and there is no opinion. I see coverage both for and against the course in the article, and am able to judge the facts objectively. That is not the case with the Scotsman article, and as far as I am aware, the Scotsman isn't an OpEd piece, but feels like it is with a clear agenda against the course.


With the 'Wealthy American golf moguls...' comment, it's not that it isn't factually correct, because it is. Rather, it is about its importance to the article. The subject of the article is about a golf course that was approved to be built, and is now facing backlash from those opposed, hoping the ruling will get overturned by the Ministers. Why does the fact that the project is being led by wealthy people have to do anything with the rest of the article? It doesn't. It is just a tactic from the writer to sway readers into thinking that the developers threw money around to get their way. From all the articles and reports I have read, and the councillors meeting that I watched, this appears to not have been the case. Mr. Warnock appears to have been genuine in his want to engage with agencies and voters opposed. But that doesn't come through in the article.


My question is: would The New York Times or BBC write the article the way the Scotsman did?

Niall C

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #534 on: June 21, 2018, 08:17:07 AM »
Tim

I've reread the Scotsman and read the BBC report and the difference seems to me that the Scotsman story is about the reaction to the decision to grant planning rather than about the decision itself. In other words they are endeavoring to move the story on. As I said, build it up and then knock it down.

As an aside I also read the Times this morning and from memory it similarly had a number of comments from opponents of the scheme. I think they also made the Trump comparison. As another aside, I don't think this decision was unexpected and I'd hazard a guess that the quotes you read in the Scotsman piece were probably pre-prepared PR's sent out when the decision was made. Same tactics from both sides.

Ally

I'd wait a few weeks before you book your plane tickets just in case. I've always thought that the Scottish Govt gave the developer the nod of approval a while back but I note that the only Councillor on the planning committee to object was SNP and that the local Greens MSP is making a big noise about it. I doubt the Scottish Govt will change their mind but it wouldn't be the first time that politicians changed their minds out of expediency.

Niall


Tim Gallant

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #535 on: June 21, 2018, 08:39:20 AM »
Tim

I've reread the Scotsman and read the BBC report and the difference seems to me that the Scotsman story is about the reaction to the decision to grant planning rather than about the decision itself. In other words they are endeavoring to move the story on. As I said, build it up and then knock it down.

As an aside I also read the Times this morning and from memory it similarly had a number of comments from opponents of the scheme. I think they also made the Trump comparison. As another aside, I don't think this decision was unexpected and I'd hazard a guess that the quotes you read in the Scotsman piece were probably pre-prepared PR's sent out when the decision was made. Same tactics from both sides.

Ally

I'd wait a few weeks before you book your plane tickets just in case. I've always thought that the Scottish Govt gave the developer the nod of approval a while back but I note that the only Councillor on the planning committee to object was SNP and that the local Greens MSP is making a big noise about it. I doubt the Scottish Govt will change their mind but it wouldn't be the first time that politicians changed their minds out of expediency.

Niall


Fair enough if the article is covering the reaction, but it can still be presented in an unbiased way. 9 quotes for the opposition, 4 for the course, and those for the course are all at the very bottom of the article. Not exactly objective. I don't mind if this is the writer's opinion, but make it clear that it is an opinion piece, not a news story.

Niall C

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #536 on: June 21, 2018, 09:27:42 AM »
Tim

They are merely reflecting the depth of the opposition. Really Tim, you'd think your paperboy had hit you over the head with the Scotsman judging by the way you are going on  ;)

Niall

Tim Gallant

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #537 on: June 21, 2018, 10:25:08 AM »
Tim

They are merely reflecting the depth of the opposition. Really Tim, you'd think your paperboy had hit you over the head with the Scotsman judging by the way you are going on  ;)

Niall


 ;D ;D  Hehehe! True.

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #538 on: June 21, 2018, 01:14:03 PM »
Tim

They are merely reflecting the depth of the opposition. Really Tim, you'd think your paperboy had hit you over the head with the Scotsman judging by the way you are going on  ;)

Niall



What depth of opposition Niall? If you mean getting lots of people to sign a petition against something they have no proper grasp of being built in a place they have probably not heard of let alone visited then I will give you that. But then again if from a world population of 7 billion they found less than 100k to sign maybe the opposition was very small.


On the other side of the scales the pro side did not go down the route of whipping up a lot of noise concentrating on the local opinion which was well informed and knew what the local effects would be. Local opinion was almost exclusively behind the project.


Finally, the Green MSP was not elected by the local population but rather was a list MSP which is fair enough as far as it goes but I do not think he attended any of the information events to talk to locals or offer a counterpoint though I maybe incorrect in this.


Jon

William_G

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #539 on: June 21, 2018, 01:36:56 PM »
Tim

They are merely reflecting the depth of the opposition. Really Tim, you'd think your paperboy had hit you over the head with the Scotsman judging by the way you are going on  ;)

Niall



What depth of opposition Niall? If you mean getting lots of people to sign a petition against something they have no proper grasp of being built in a place they have probably not heard of let alone visited then I will give you that. But then again if from a world population of 7 billion they found less than 100k to sign maybe the opposition was very small.

Jon

LOL
It's all about the golf!

Jerry Kluger

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #540 on: June 21, 2018, 03:44:10 PM »
I dealt with courts and prosecutions for many years and I always wondered why people would try arguments with respect to the law which really had no bearing on the issue at hand.  Often the judge would become very skeptical of all of their arguments, even those which had significant merit.  To me, the issue here is whether building the golf course will have such a negative impact on the environment that it should not be built.  It seems that environmental considerations have become far greater now than they have ever been and to argue the positive economic impact of a project is almost irrelevant. How many courses in the US are being built in environmentally sensitive areas and how many courses that were built not that long ago would be permitted today, i.e. Ocean Course at Kiawah for one.  So while we all would like to see this course built because of the track records of the architects and developers, economic impact should not really be part of the determination. 

Jon Wiggett

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #541 on: June 21, 2018, 04:58:39 PM »
I dealt with courts and prosecutions for many years and I always wondered why people would try arguments with respect to the law which really had no bearing on the issue at hand.  Often the judge would become very skeptical of all of their arguments, even those which had significant merit.  To me, the issue here is whether building the golf course will have such a negative impact on the environment that it should not be built.  It seems that environmental considerations have become far greater now than they have ever been and to argue the positive economic impact of a project is almost irrelevant. How many courses in the US are being built in environmentally sensitive areas and how many courses that were built not that long ago would be permitted today, i.e. Ocean Course at Kiawah for one.  So while we all would like to see this course built because of the track records of the architects and developers, economic impact should not really be part of the determination.



Jerry,


but you have to have some context to the argument. If the site really is so important to the environment as the RSPB would have us believe then why has this very well funded organisation not only never spent a single penny on it and not even bothered to put a maintenance plan together for it? If you look at the situation as it has been till today and what would happen to the site if it carries on. Then look at what is promised in the new project then it really is not a difficult decision to reach.




Kalen Braley

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #542 on: June 21, 2018, 06:16:20 PM »
Jerry does have a point.


If that entire community withers and dies on the vine and goes ghost town, those dunes and habitat will almost assuredly not have to worry about mankind tromping on it....

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #543 on: June 21, 2018, 06:21:29 PM »
Kalen,
The communities of the Highlands have had a lot worse done to them than someone building a golf course there.
There's a big statue on a hill overlooking the site which is rather sad testament to that. How it's still standing is quite the mystery.
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Kalen Braley

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #544 on: June 21, 2018, 06:26:32 PM »
Kalen,
The communities of the Highlands have had a lot worse done to them than someone building a golf course there.
There's a big statue on a hill overlooking the site which is rather sad testament to that. How it's still standing is quite the mystery.
F.


Marty,


I was being flippant, but to bring it back... I would think a golf course could be a good middle ground.  I admit I don't have any context to that area's history, but is going from one extreme to another the answer?

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #545 on: June 21, 2018, 06:36:19 PM »
K,
Yes, I generally agree. A golf course on that site, PROPERLY AND SENSITIVELY MANAGED, could certainly be beneficial to nature, to the local economy and to the local populace.
I'd go as far as to say that a golf course development there might even be a better outcome than the present state of management, which might be best described as benign neglect. Not that I'm saying benign neglect isn't a perfectly good management strategy - it certainly is in many instances. Nature will look after itself given the right circumstances.
Some people fear change.
Machrihanish Dunes, for example, is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when agencies, owners and operators work together.
Sic transit, Gloria Swanson.
F.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town.

Jerry Kluger

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #546 on: June 21, 2018, 09:22:26 PM »
The fact is that the site has existed for a very long time and there is a proposal to modify it - the issue of whether the golf course will harm the existing environment or not has nothing to do with the economics of what the golf course may provide. After the construction it may provide a few jobs but it certainly will not cause an economic boom in the area.  Do the locals really care if they can play the course at a 25% discount in the off season?

Ken Moum

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #547 on: June 21, 2018, 09:43:39 PM »
.
There's a big statue on a hill overlooking the site which is rather sad testament to that. How it's still standing is quite the mystery.
F.


I actually asked a Scot one night in a pub why it hadn't  been dynamited off the side of hill, and he said. "Well, we're not the the Irish you know."


Of course you know the other reason, it's a reminder of how things can go.


K
Over time, the guy in the ideal position derives an advantage, and delivering him further  advantage is not worth making the rest of the players suffer at the expense of fun, variety, and ultimately cost -- Jeff Warne, 12-08-2010

Niall C

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #548 on: June 22, 2018, 05:16:38 AM »

What depth of opposition Niall? If you mean getting lots of people to sign a petition against something they have no proper grasp of being built in a place they have probably not heard of let alone visited then I will give you that. But then again if from a world population of 7 billion they found less than 100k to sign maybe the opposition was very small.

I like that argument. Never mind the 90,000 signatures and all the environmental groups and agencies, they are but a drop in the ocean of the world population. Still a much bigger drop in the ocean than those supporting mind you, but letís not spoil a good argument. And of course none of those that signed the petition are locals. We know that becauseÖÖÖeh, someone said so ?

On the other side of the scales the pro side did not go down the route of whipping up a lot of noise concentrating on the local opinion which was well informed and knew what the local effects would be. Local opinion was almost exclusively behind the project.

Jon, my good friend, I had two competing pictures of you in my head as I read that. The first one was a picture of your nose getting longer and the other was you with tongue firmly in cheek. I think I prefer the second. As I said to Tim, both sides have been fairly energetic and adept at promoting their case and as to whoís points are more valid, well you pay your money you take your pick.

Finally, the Green MSP was not elected by the local population but rather was a list MSP which is fair enough as far as it goes but I do not think he attended any of the information events to talk to locals or offer a counterpoint though I maybe incorrect in this.

I too share your ďloveĒ of the democratic process as practised in this country. Nevertheless, it is what it is. The MSP is not compelled to attend any roadshow and you could argue that a more objective view is obtained by not attending but instead considering the written submissions only. Of course he is a member of the Green party which kind of suggests him taking an objective view is unlikely anyway, but still, it doesnít mean his views are any less valid.

Jon

Ian Mackenzie

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Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #549 on: June 22, 2018, 11:53:11 AM »
I dealt with courts and prosecutions for many years and I always wondered why people would try arguments with respect to the law which really had no bearing on the issue at hand.  Often the judge would become very skeptical of all of their arguments, even those which had significant merit.  To me, the issue here is whether building the golf course will have such a negative impact on the environment that it should not be built.  It seems that environmental considerations have become far greater now than they have ever been and to argue the positive economic impact of a project is almost irrelevant. How many courses in the US are being built in environmentally sensitive areas and how many courses that were built not that long ago would be permitted today, i.e. Ocean Course at Kiawah for one.  So while we all would like to see this course built because of the track records of the architects and developers, economic impact should not really be part of the determination.


The issue is/was a bit more multi-faceted than this on both the environmental and economic fronts.


Environmental: The existing site has been mismanaged for decades. I believe this is what did in the opposing groups. Where has their concern for the SSSI been for the past 50 years? Where was the management plan to preserve, protect and nurture the location?


The course developers are pledging 50,000 pounds.yr. to remediate, manage and maintain the site including parts of the SSSI.


Economic: I think what Jerry says above leaves out some key points about the possible economic impact that a golf course can have on a more remote location. As an example, in 2008 - when Castle Stuart opened an hour away (and this has been discussed 4-5 times here already...;-) Dornoch saw a NET LOSS of room nights and tourist revenue in the town. Golfers would base their stay in the Inverness area and come up to Dornoch for the day, recieve their box lunch on their coach and return to play Nairn in the afternoon. RDGC wins, but the town itself does not benefit.

The economic argument goes WAY past the jobs created by operating a new golf course. When Coul opens (2020?) it is envisioned that golfers will stay in Dornoch for 1-3 nights to play RDGC, Coul and (hopefully) Brora and Golspie. THAT is where the economic benefits will be derived. (Hotel nights, restaurants, bars, shops, etc.)

Again, just look at Bandon, OR and Inverness, NS for examples.


If the economic case was not strong, I do not believe that the project would have been so well-received by the residents of Embo and Dornoch. In this case, environmental AND economic rationales were considered by the ruling bodies (not legislative ones, mind you). The developers addressed both thoroughly and were acknowledged accordingly.


And while a vigorous "Not another Trump scenario" defense was put forth by those opposed to the project, they acted much like the US' "Resist" and "Never Trump" movements: Everyone understands what they are against, yet they can never seem to quite articulate what they are FOR and what they intend to actually DO about it.


(Disclosure: I am not a Trump fan....;-)

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