News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


JC Jones

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #725 on: November 22, 2018, 06:19:06 PM »
The bottom line is rather simple.  We have a relatively small number of people who find meaning, actually a bit more than that, a raison d'Ítre, in radical environmentalism. 

Say it isn't so Sweet Lou.  You show your hand too easily despite all your previous hard work.  8)

Ciao

You will have to tell me what my hand is before I can disown it.  I do believe that there a relatively few masters in the environmental activist community pulling the strings of many good, well-meaning folks who are woefully uninformed on science, economics, business, politics, and how the world really works.  Happy Thanksgiving!


 ;D If only those poor fools had some intelligence, they too would have it all figured out.  ;D


Come on, Lou.  People can be well meaning and intelligent and have a different view than you.
I get it, you are mad at the world because you are an adult caddie and few people take you seriously.

Excellent spellers usually lack any vision or common sense.

I know plenty of courses that are in the red, and they are killing it.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #726 on: November 22, 2018, 07:24:46 PM »
The bottom line is rather simple.  We have a relatively small number of people who find meaning, actually a bit more than that, a raison d'Ítre, in radical environmentalism. 

Say it isn't so Sweet Lou.  You show your hand too easily despite all your previous hard work.  8)

Ciao

You will have to tell me what my hand is before I can disown it.  I do believe that there a relatively few masters in the environmental activist community pulling the strings of many good, well-meaning folks who are woefully uninformed on science, economics, business, politics, and how the world really works.  Happy Thanksgiving!

In this case, I am one of the woefully uninformed on science, economics (not that I beleive half of the drivel that comes from the mouths of econimists, politicians or business people), business, politics and how the world really works.  I won't pretend to know the way forward, but I won't lightly dismiss environmental issues as some choose to do.  I have said it before, a large part the government should play in our daily lives is to mitigate the damage a necessarily (IMO anyway) largely free market does to society and the environment.  Governmental protectionsim ain't perfect, just as unions were never perfect, but I shudder to think what life would be without these (and more) clawbacks against a free market.  To me, thats how the world should really work.  So yes, I will tend to pay attention where encroachment on protected areas and the associated wildlife and ecosystems are concerned.  Part of my skepticism is due to the argument that golf courses can be good stewards of the environment...an altered environment for sure.  Yes, this can be the case, but it could just as easily not be the case.  In other words, we have to put our faith in the developers...I am always skeptical about allowing the fox to watch the hen house.  Ironically, the odds of the fox doing a proper job of  stewardship rise when additonal environmental restrictions are applied.  Anyway, carry on...all shall be revealed soon enough.  I am not fussed either way in this case, though the prospect of another C&C course in the world doesn't have me doing cartwheels. 

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

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #727 on: November 22, 2018, 08:10:30 PM »
JC,

You are right.  But intelligence is highly overrated.  Good, well-informed values, judgment, wisdom, and just regular common sense require more effort and active experience.  I don't have a strong need for +1s and people agreeing with me.

The argument that an allegedly "rare" fly is a protagonist in the cycle of life may be heady in some circles; not in mine.   But I agree with you, it is not about a fly.  Raw power and control?  The public sector flexing its muscle and showing the greedy American capitalist sand-baggers who is boss?  Developing more precedence on the limits of private property rights?  Who knows?  Maybe the local council just wants to preempt another inevitable caravan park!

Sean,

We have a very different view of proper governance.  I am the third generation of my family forced to immigrate by socialism and the statist, illiberal means it must employ to make its citizens do what they are by nature programmed to resist.

I am much more skeptical about what government can do to me than any corporation.  The former can put me in jail, or worse in some cases.  To the best of my knowledge, no company without the help of the government (reference ObamaCare) can force me to buy their products.  And if they harm me, I can sue them in a consumer/lawyer friendly venue for redress.  Try suing the government!

I too don't have a dog in this hunt.  As to whether the world needs another C&C course, yep.  These fine men have given me a lot of joy.  I think many others feel the same way, and it is not like they're acting like Amazon, requiring the local governments to pay large ransom.    :-*
 

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #728 on: November 22, 2018, 08:32:48 PM »
Sweet Lou

Well if you are going to grace this thread with the mention of the so called socialism of Franco's Spain, then yes, I agree.  However, my comments were couched within a free market economy. We have seen a world where companies ruled all...no thanks to either extreme.  Hence my feeling that in this age of globalism...(has there ever been a business movement which so succesfully reduced the value of unskilled/union labour?) governments must find ways to ease the pain of the necessary evil (within reason) of the free market.  We can argue til the cows come home...I ain't buying the notion of free company reign over the market, the social well being of the country and the environment.  History tells us (well me anyway) this isn't wise.

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

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #729 on: November 23, 2018, 03:50:16 AM »

Trashing/destroying/obliterating/wrecking/ruining Ė Iíll let you use whatever word you want, they more or less all mean the same thing, but when you wipe out a landscape and replace it with something else then what else are you doing ? As for Mike Keisers environmental credentials, read the side bar on the front page of http://www.notcoul.com/developers.html



  I too believe that golf courses can add greatly to the environment and can provide a valuable habitat for all sorts of species. But there comes a point when you have to say that what is there already is more valuable.



Niall,


it is not always easy to work out who wrote what when it comes to posts where replies are done within quotes so if these points are yours I apologies.


I would be VERY careful about using the 'notcoul' website or any information on there when it comes to backing up a point you are making. The site is run and fronted by the person who was the ecological advisor for the planning on the Balmedie Trump project. In that case his report came out in favour of the project saying it would enhance/improve the SSSI. Now he said this despite the fact that anyone with a smidgen of common sense could see that it would do exactly the opposite.


Now you would think that being an environmental expert who has worked another big golf project within a SSSI would be something he would use front and center no? Look at me not only the environmental expert but also the expert who worked on the last big project so I know what I am talking about better than anyone else. But not only does he not do this but he also refuses to acknowledge the fact even when asked about it.


So why is he anti? Well he lives very closely so has more than a professional interest but that could go either way. He also could have expect he might be offered the work as environmental expert on the Coul Links project. Yet for whatever reasons he was not. I suspect had he been, given his track record he might have been very much of a different opinion.


So when it comes to using websites to back up your points I would not be so quick to say look here this is the truth. To back the point up I have posted the following link. The site is full of interesting pieces where many of the facts are correct and logical yet I still do not agree at all with the big picture they are pushing. However, maybe after perusing their site you will believe the earth is flat.



https://theflatearthsociety.org/home/





I would also say that I am not in favour of building within a SSSI though the idea of a SSSI is not to stop development but one of protecting certain characteristics of what is there. The two are not mutually exclusive. What is important in this case for me is to look at what would happen to the site under the current regime and what would happen if the proposed development went ahead. In this case to me the site will be massively better off in 20 years if the project happens.
The bottom line is rather simple.  We have a relatively small number of people who find meaning, actually a bit more than that, a raison d'Ítre, in radical environmentalism. 

Say it isn't so Sweet Lou.  You show your hand too easily despite all your previous hard work.  8)

Ciao

You will have to tell me what my hand is before I can disown it.  I do believe that there a relatively few masters in the environmental activist community pulling the strings of many good, well-meaning folks who are woefully uninformed on science, economics, business, politics, and how the world really works.  Happy Thanksgiving!


 ;D If only those poor fools had some intelligence, they too would have it all figured out.  ;D


Come on, Lou.  People can be well meaning and intelligent and have a different view than you.


Mr. Jones,


where exactly did Lou say well meaning people are not intelligent regardless of if they are of his opinion or not?


Jon

Rich Goodale

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #730 on: November 23, 2018, 05:44:54 AM »
JCJ


The "information" in your post #719 is fake news.  Interests in developing Coull Links into a golf course extends back at least 40+ years when I first visited Dornoch and was informed by locals as to the magic of the place (relative to development as a golf course), well before when the bug scientists conducted their fairly recent research (and/or maybe were even before they were born).  Kesier/Coore/Warnock just happened to be the first suitors who were not "All hat and no cattle" development wannabies.


rfg
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #731 on: November 23, 2018, 07:29:44 AM »
Lou

You say that it is a matter of opinion that the site is environmentally highly sensitive. Can I respectfully suggest that it is a matter of PROFESSIONAL opinion that the site is environmentally highly sensitive. Iíd also suggest that the developerís through their own professional consultants arenít necessarily disagreeing with the generality of that but are instead arguing the detail and putting forward mitigation measures.

With regards to the various hoops and costs that you refer to, that is all part of the process. Iím sure all other liberal democracies have similar. Think of it as being the cost of democracy. If we were like Francoís Spain then perhaps it would be different  ;)

Anyway, I digress slightly. In terms of development plans prepared by local government, they are there to provide a framework and guidance to developers and can help avoid unnecessary cost. In this instance the designation of the site in the development plan was a clear red flag to development. The fact that the developerís decided to pursue an application despite that designation was their choice. The costs are therefore an inevitable consequence of that.

Niall

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #732 on: November 23, 2018, 08:42:36 AM »
Jon

Happy to confirm that the quotes in red are indeed from myself.

Yes, I was vaguely aware that the environmental consultant involved in the Balmedie application (Tom Dargie) contributed to the notcoul website however I wasnít aware he ran it. Iím also vaguely aware of reports that he felt ill-used by Trump in so much as he was misquoted as saying something that wasnít in his report. Iím fairly sure that came out before the Embo application and was subject of at least one newspaper story.

Anyway if you read the Reporters report on the Balmedie application you will note that Dargieís initial advice to Trump was to build his course inland but given Trumps refusal to do that his role was then one of looking at mitigation measures, or at least that last bit is my interpretation. In the final analysis his views didnít seem to vary much from that of the consultants employed by the Council or that of SNH. I can well imagine that the consultants employed on behalf of the Embo developers will be acting similarly.

However the reason I included the notcoul link in my post to Lou was that I had been looking for info on Mike Keisers unauthorised encroachment and damage to government land to undertake site investigations, to illustrate to him that perhaps he wasnít quite the eco-friendly developer that Lou was portraying him as.  The notcoul link seemed a quick and easy way of imparting that information and making that point.

Niall

Kalen Braley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #733 on: November 23, 2018, 11:24:25 AM »
Lou,


Believe it or not, I'm first and foremost a believer in balance.  Too much government or too much private interest are both anywhere from undesirable to awful.  Where those checks of power are maintained will always be debatable, but the problem is too many people think in absolutes...aka the Ayn Rand crowd vs the all corporations are evil crowd.

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #734 on: November 23, 2018, 04:33:34 PM »

Niall,


I am well aware of the fact that Mr. Dargie's initial report on the Balmedie project was to build the course inland of the dunes. You are also correct that he then worked on mitigating measures for the building of the course within the dunes. I am also aware that his report came to the conclusion that the if the mitigating measures were implemented it would be an improvement to the SSSI. A cynical person might conclude that when being paid there is an openness to building in SSSIs which disappears when circumstances alter. I of course prefer to believe this could not possibly be the case you understand.


As for feeling used by Trump. If you get into bed with the devil.....


As for MK I am aware of a case where a drilling operation searching for water was undertaken without the proper consents which included constructing roadways. This sort of thing is certainly not acceptable and does not reflect well.

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #735 on: November 23, 2018, 04:41:46 PM »
Lou,


Believe it or not, I'm first and foremost a believer in balance.  Too much government or too much private interest are both anywhere from undesirable to awful.  Where those checks of power are maintained will always be debatable, but the problem is too many people think in absolutes...aka the Ayn Rand crowd vs the all corporations are evil crowd.

Me too.  I am all for balance in any number of things, golf, governance, the economy.  I marvel at my Democrat friends when they say that Republicans are extremists who just won't compromise.  I suggest that they get beyond the rhetoric of their opinion makers and look at some figures, say total government spending as a percentage of GDP over the last 100+ years then less define "middle ground" (<7% around 1900 to 40%+ around 2010, presently trending around 35%).

Oops!  Well, that has to be because conservatives feed the war machine, you know, the evil military/industrial complex.  Ok, let's review those numbers: in the mid 1960s (Viet Nam) defense spending peaked at just above 10% of GDP.  It is currently in the low 4%s.  Go figure!

Balance.  Or is it capitulation that some are after.  Set one extreme high enough, say Bill de Blasio proffering that New Yorkers want the government to direct their private lives and calling for the end of federalism, and whatever falls in the middle is hardly balance.  I have never heard anyone on the right advocate for "survival of the fittest/rugged individualism/dog-eat-dog/let granny eat dog food".  The most "radical" suggestion stated from that side is that the 47% pulling the 53% riding in the cart is not sustainable.   And for that, one of the most decent, honorable, middle-of-the road Republican politicians I know, your own junior senator-elect, was excoriated.  Balance!         

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #736 on: November 23, 2018, 05:16:32 PM »
Lou

You say that it is a matter of opinion that the site is environmentally highly sensitive. Can I respectfully suggest that it is a matter of PROFESSIONAL opinion that the site is environmentally highly sensitive. Iíd also suggest that the developerís through their own professional consultants arenít necessarily disagreeing with the generality of that but are instead arguing the detail and putting forward mitigation measures.

Do you think that there are not highly-trained individuals in the same disciplines, professionals, who would come to a very different conclusion?  What "highly sensitive" is, as President Clinton once noted about the meaning of the word "is", has a lot more to do with context and opinion than fact (e.g. in the worst case, if as a result of the very light development maybe affecting 10-20% of the total site, the fly is forced to move or results in its extinction throughout the realm, what are the downstream impacts on the ecology of the region?- btw, my experience with flies is that they like to be around people and food, and that they have wings and can move readily to avoid being swatted).

As to the developer's people not contesting the designation, as you noted elsewhere, staying within the planning guidelines as much as possible facilitates the process and probably costs less in the long run.  My personal experience is that developers generally stay within the set parameters/standards as much as feasible and request variances as needed for the viability of the project as envisioned.  For example, I've not seen a developer request heavy industrial zoning when the master plan calls for mixed-use retail, office, residential.  I've been personally involved in zoning cases asking for a less intense use than the master plan would allow for, and a couple of times it did take some arm-twisting on the political side as the staff tends to be risk-adverse (the "Oh Shit"/easy to say NO reflex).

You are right about Keiser and company knowing the landscape (specially after Trump and Balmedie).  I didn't personally see the quality of the site to merit much of a fight, but he and C&C have me by light years. 

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #737 on: November 24, 2018, 08:30:46 AM »
Jon

The job of professional consultants is to assist the client by providing professional advice. Do you really think that the consultants for the Embo developers aren't doing the same job as Dargie did for Trump ? I don't wish to offend but I suggest it would be naÔve to think otherwise.

As for getting into bed with the Devil, back when the Balmedie application was going through, Trump was known as a colourful businessman rather than the hugely divisive and controversial figure he's become. Why would Dargie not have worked for him back then ? Not all consultants can pick and choose who they can work for anyway.

Lou

The developer is, as you put it, contesting the designation. What else would you call submitting a planning application that is totally contrary to the development plan ? As I alluded to in my response to Jon above, what the consultants are doing is trying to get round it by mitigating factors, such as economic benefit and offsetting environmental damage similar to what Dargie proposed at Balmedie.

Niall

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #738 on: November 24, 2018, 08:55:57 AM »
Jon

The job of professional consultants is to assist the client by providing professional advice. Do you really think that the consultants for the Embo developers aren't doing the same job as Dargie did for Trump ? I don't wish to offend but I suggest it would be naÔve to think otherwise.

As for getting into bed with the Devil, back when the Balmedie application was going through, Trump was known as a colourful businessman rather than the hugely divisive and controversial figure he's become. Why would Dargie not have worked for him back then ? Not all consultants can pick and choose who they can work for anyway.

Lou

The developer is, as you put it, contesting the designation. What else would you call submitting a planning application that is totally contrary to the development plan ? As I alluded to in my response to Jon above, what the consultants are doing is trying to get round it by mitigating factors, such as economic benefit and offsetting environmental damage similar to what Dargie proposed at Balmedie.

Niall



Niall,


lets just get something straight. As a developer of a golf course myself I am aware of what the role of an Ecological Consultant is. Yes, the developer pays for the work that they do but the parameters of the report they write and conclusions are not influenced by the developer. As the developer you can request the consultant suggest possible mitigating work that might be undertaken but the conclusion of the report is the remit of the consultant. If the developer does not agree then they can pay for another consultant to do another report which might come to a different conclusion as experts often do. It is not the case however that the developer can influence the consultant forcing them to write something that they do not agree with. The same cannot be said for the various bodies especially groups such as the RSPB who are well known for skewing facts and for cherry picking data to suit their aims.


As for the Trump factor. I think most people were well aware of what type of person Trump was well before the Balmedie application. He has never tried to hide it and I would have thought Mr. Dargie found out what a prospective client had for a reputation before taking on the contract.


Jon

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #739 on: November 24, 2018, 09:43:56 AM »

Niall,


lets just get something straight. As a developer of a golf course myself I am aware of what the role of an Ecological Consultant is. Yes, the developer pays for the work that they do but the parameters of the report they write and conclusions are not influenced by the developer. As the developer you can request the consultant suggest possible mitigating work that might be undertaken but the conclusion of the report is the remit of the consultant. If the developer does not agree then they can pay for another consultant to do another report which might come to a different conclusion as experts often do. It is not the case however that the developer can influence the consultant forcing them to write something that they do not agree with. I don't disagree with anything you write above. As far as I can see neither Dargie or Embo developers consultants have done anything different. Would you agree ? The same cannot be said for the various bodies especially groups such as the RSPB who are well known for skewing facts and for cherry picking data to suit their aims. When you say "skewing" do you mean they were altering the findings or instead do you mean they highlighted the relevant parts of the findings ? If it's the latter I don't see any problem with that.


As for the Trump factor. I think most people were well aware of what type of person Trump was well before the Balmedie application. He has never tried to hide it and I would have thought Mr. Dargie found out what a prospective client had for a reputation before taking on the contract. Really ? I don't recall the recording of him admitting sexual assault being public at that time ? Neither do I recall him having made his comments on Mexicans at that point. On the face of it Trump was (and is ?) a reputable if flamboyant businessman. And you don't have to like someone to do a job of work for them.

Jon

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #740 on: November 24, 2018, 09:53:13 AM »
Niall,

Come on, is Keiser contesting the designation or merely seeking approval of what he wants to do either by receiving a variance or the blessing that the project is consistent with the political objectives of the regulators?  He and any other developer, Trump as president included, would be nuts to take on another country's politicians that directly.  BTW, I am curious, what is the development plan for an SSSI-inflicted piece of private property?  Can the landowner charge the guardians of the rare fly rent?

Jon,

Perhaps the Scots are more virtuous than their American cousins, but professionals of many types here are at a minimum sensitive to the needs of their clients.  I've been in the presence of any number of appraisers who while not directly asking for the value we are seeking, doing their best in fishing for clues.

Unfortunately, even for environmental assessments, what the client asks for is not simple discovery with binary conclusions (e.g. are there underground storage tanks?  in the last x years, has the site served as a gas station or auto repair business?  is the site within the 100 year flood plain? etc.).  Instead, the questions also require professional judgment relative to probability and risk, and the expert's biases necessarily creep in.

In most areas, the biases and orientations of professional consultants are well-known.  An NGO being paid by an environmental regulator to study sites to bring under their purview is going to know ahead of time the likely work product of the experts it is going to hire to render an opinion.  A developer looking to borrow money is going to engage an appraiser who is known to value property handsomely.

I don't believe that those in government and their hired guns are any more or less virtuous than the developers and their contractors.  Governments govern; developers develop.  People are people.  They all know who butters their bread.   

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #741 on: November 24, 2018, 10:49:16 AM »

Niall,

lets just get something straight. As a developer of a golf course myself I am aware of what the role of an Ecological Consultant is. Yes, the developer pays for the work that they do but the parameters of the report they write and conclusions are not influenced by the developer. As the developer you can request the consultant suggest possible mitigating work that might be undertaken but the conclusion of the report is the remit of the consultant. If the developer does not agree then they can pay for another consultant to do another report which might come to a different conclusion as experts often do. It is not the case however that the developer can influence the consultant forcing them to write something that they do not agree with. I don't disagree with anything you write above. As far as I can see neither Dargie or Embo developers consultants have done anything different. Would you agree ? The same cannot be said for the various bodies especially groups such as the RSPB who are well known for skewing facts and for cherry picking data to suit their aims. When you say "skewing" do you mean they were altering the findings or instead do you mean they highlighted the relevant parts of the findings ? If it's the latter I don't see any problem with that.

As for the Trump factor. I think most people were well aware of what type of person Trump was well before the Balmedie application. He has never tried to hide it and I would have thought Mr. Dargie found out what a prospective client had for a reputation before taking on the contract. Really ? I don't recall the recording of him admitting sexual assault being public at that time ? Neither do I recall him having made his comments on Mexicans at that point. On the face of it Trump was (and is ?) a reputable if flamboyant businessman. And you don't have to like someone to do a job of work for them.

Jon

Niall, much like Clinton, for those who followed Trump pre-presidential aspirations, his poor reputation concerning women was well known.  Additionally, Trump had a sketchy business record as well.  I put some of this down to gold diggers, disgruntled partners, customers and clients, but where there is that much smoke there must be fire.  We haven't heard the end of this because Trump honestly thinks he is above the truth (or is the truth) and the law.  He is a very strange cat. 

Sweet Lou

Sure, planning is a dark art. What confuses me most is that the government would spend the money to designate land as special, then contemplate development applications on the very same land.  It seems to me that what applications are is essentially a challenge to designation and use as prescribed in planning.  I wouldn't mind if these designated areas were revisited every 10 years or so to make sure planning has succeeded with the initial intention of the designation...much like being in favour of sunset limits on laws unless renewed.  It has to be better than ad hoc applications coming in when planners/cllrs then have guns to their heads to "make the right" decision. All these designations are at heart meant to remove this pressurized decision-making...as if the wheel needs to be re-invented every year.


Ciao

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 10:55:00 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2023: Cardigan, St David's City, Panmure, Kinghorn, Harrogate, Hinckley, Robin Hood, Sandiway & Ladybank

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #742 on: November 24, 2018, 01:03:04 PM »


I don't disagree with anything you write above. As far as I can see neither Dargie or Embo developers consultants have done anything different. Would you agree ?




 When you say "skewing" do you mean they were altering the findings or instead do you mean they highlighted the relevant parts of the findings ? If it's the latter I don't see any problem with that.


 Really ? I don't recall the recording of him admitting sexual assault being public at that time ? Neither do I recall him having made his comments on Mexicans at that point. On the face of it Trump was (and is ?) a reputable if flamboyant businessman. And you don't have to like someone to do a job of work for them.





Niall,


to address the three comments you raise I would say:


With the first point. I would concur they both handled their respective projects correctly. I would point out I do not disagree with Dargie's conclusions in his report for Balmedie in that with his suggested mitigation measures the project might be seen as acceptable. Baring this in mind, it is odd he comes to a different conclusion with the Coul Links project. What went wrong at Balmedie was not his report but the fact that the measures were not implemented.


Now were his argument that he did not believe the mitigation at Coul would be implemented I could understand his position given his experience with Balmedie but to suggest that his mitigation measures where okay whilst those at Coul are not is simply not a defendable position and one that all statutory experts disagree with.


With the second point by skewing I mean not giving a whole picture. An example at Coul would be the RSPB stating the golf would have an effect on the winter cycle of water foul which is correct. However, were Coul not to happen what will happen is a continuation of winter shooting of said birds which is having a far greater and negative effect on the birds. When looking at the whole picture it would be an enhancement of the resting grounds but that does not suit the argument if you are against the project hence is not mentioned by RSPB particularly.


Finally, of course nobody knew in 2010 about comments made after that date (apart from Dr. Who maybe). But to suggest he was seen as a flamboyant yet jovial businessman is pushing it a bit. It was well known that he was a rude, boorish bully who thought he could get his way through money or meanness.

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #743 on: November 24, 2018, 01:41:09 PM »

Lou,


I do not know the answer to your initial question but it could be that the main difference is in the planning process though as I have no experience of the US system I can only comment on the Scottish system. Here the Environmental survey is carried out by an independent surveyor who's fee is paid for by the developer. The surveyor is not employed by the developer, they are not influenced by the developer nor are they beholden to the developer in anyway. The parameters of their survey is set by the planning process/authority not the developer. The developer can ask the surveyor to comment on matters raised by the developer.


Once the report is done then the governmental bodies such as SEPA & SNH will also give their comments based on the environmental report and input from other outside bodies. Likewise, the developer can also use the report to back up their application.


Niall says that surveyors cannot pick and chose who they do reports for but this is not the case. They are free to work on any project they are asked to. What makes a difference in the end except of course the price is how well a surveyor can write the report. If they can make it comprehensive, laying out the facts clearly then they will help the developer understand what is needed in the planning application to satisfy the planners and so gain a positive reputation.


Where Mr. Dargie did not agree with Balmedie is that the developer did not use the survey to guide the planning application but rather had decided what they wanted and tried to cherry pick bits to suit their desired solutions. It should be noted that this approach led to the planning application being rejected. It was only when the Scottish Government called it in that the official system was circumnavigated and the bravado became important.


Jon

Ian Mackenzie

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #744 on: November 24, 2018, 07:50:48 PM »
Like legions of others before him and currently, Tom Dargie may be seeking to wash and cleanse the ďTrump StainĒ off himself... ;D


Anyone who comes in contact with the man (Trump) directly is ďtaintedĒ, tarred, used and cast aside as roadkill.
He thought he might raise his status with a working relationship with Trump. Instead, he will be forever associated with institutional environmental malpractice.

Looks like a sudden crisis of conscience has now taken over and heís leaning in hard with ďNot Coul.Ē
His demons may be excorcised or he may devolve into a punchline whose ghost may inhabit the Dornoch cathedral for centuries.


Fair to assume we may all know by summer.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 08:02:09 PM by Ian Mackenzie »

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #745 on: November 25, 2018, 08:35:25 AM »
Sean

I think it was well known that some of Trumps businesses had failed but that others were doing very well. That was certainly the public perception and I think probably reflects reality to an extent. Of course how well some of his companies are actually doing appears to be shrouded in some mystery, and certainly the guy at Forbes magazine stated that they routinely divided his stated wealth by 3 when assessing him for their rich list. That in itself doesn't disqualify him from being someone most folk would do business with.

In terms of his reputation with women, it was generally known he was on to his 3rd or 4th glamorous wife and that was part of his "legend", however that's very different to being recorded boasting of committing sexual assault. That was not known, at least not in the UK as far as I'm aware.

Where I do agree with you is that at some point, the chickens will come home to roost.

Jon

Surveyors like any other consultants be they planners, solicitors or environmental consultants or even golf course architects can indeed choose there client. The point I was making is that there is not many in position like say Tom Doak, who can pick and choose to the extent of turning down well paid work from a legitimate source. In my experience the things you look for in a client are is it/he/she a legitimate business, are they asking me to do something that is legal and within my professional capabilities and will they pay my fees.

As it happens I used to work for the firm who gave Trump valuation advice on Balmedie. Does that mean I'm tarnished (or "tainted" as Ian would put it) ? Because if it does then so is Lou because he's worked for the same firm.

Lou

With respect, your attempts at equating the US and Scottish systems isn't helpful. Not only are the systems different (I'd imagine) but clearly so is the terminology. What the Embo developer has done is pursue a planning application. That application is seeking consent for a development that is contrary to the development plan. They're not declaring war.

Niall

Lou_Duran

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #746 on: November 25, 2018, 01:54:48 PM »
Niall,

I am not attempting to equate the two systems; I am trying to understand them.  So much of our economic thinking in America was imported from your shores that there has to be very important commonalities in how we treat the ownership of land.
 
A public sector development plan in Scotland does not allow variances?  A planning application must either be totally "conforming" or it should not be made and/or the government decision not challenged?  I find hard to believe that it is a matter of take it or leave it, especially since it is my understanding that such development plans don't have a sunset and it takes a political act to revise or replace it.   I wonder, have the conditions or the political thrust which make a site an SSI ever changed such that the designation was repealed?

I asked earlier what is the development plan for a site within the SSI, i.e. what can the owner do to enjoy his property.  I can't think of a less intense use of the CL site which may produce some income to its owners than a minimalist links course.  Are there any?  If not, what about this specific situation is not a taking?

My involvement on this thread and others like it is in the interest of fleshing out what, IMO, is really at the heart of golf's decline in the countries of its tradition.  I can say with considerable confidence that is has very little to do with how far the ball goes or how easy a large, exotic metal driver is to hit.

Instead, it is my belief that the decline has mostly to do with the increasing claims governments make on private income and regulation of everyday life in the name of the public good which result in less discretionary funds and higher costs.  Yes, golf is expensive, and it takes a lot of time, neither of which has changed significantly from the time that total rounds played were increasing rapidly to now when they are flat or declining in places (in real terms, golf is actually cheaper in many places than it was in the 1980s and early '90s).

Private property is meaningless if the underlying bundle of rights is expropriated one straw at a time to the point that the owner can derive little or no value from it.   If the owner of the CL site can't enjoy its benefits because a government body deems its public value is more important, in fairness, SHOULD he not be compensated for his loss?  Without the SSI designation which came while the family owned the property, would the politicos have a leg to stand on in denying the application?

Disrespect for property rights is a slippery slope that always ends badly.  Of course, Niall, you are familiar with the Tragedy of the Commons.

I know this not from books, but very personally.  Part of my family immigrated from Galicia to Cuba to escape the killing between the communists and fascists during the Spanish Civil War.  My great uncles, father, and later my mother started with nothing and through three decades of extremely hard work, built good lives there.  Let me tell Sean, Genarilisimo Franco was a piker in comparison to Comrade Castro.

With much of the same rhetoric that I hear here in the U.S., but with less patience and no credible opposition, Fidel's rebels took over all private property in a very short period of time.  Essentially, on the day he overthrew the government, most people stopped paying rent.   And what was once the jewel of the Caribbean is now in shambles.  Look at Venezuela today even with its vast oil reserves.

Our good friend Philip Gawith can speak much better about the current situation in South Africa than I can.  And it shares a border with Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Africa, now reduced to begging for foreign aid to prevent its own people from starving.  Taking property from those who have it might seem fair, even righteous to large segments of the population, but it cuts the roots to what allows economies and societies to prosper.

You may say, well that will not happen here.  Understanding the human condition probably better than most, I suggest that it is already happening in the country of my refuge in manner akin to the unsuspecting frog in the cauldron being  simmered so slowly until it is too late to hop out.

As I've said before, the outcome of the CL dispute will have at most a negligible impact on my life.  I do have a vested interest well past my own life in the rule of law, private property rights, and the protection of minority interests.  I would have little to say if the good folks in Scotland would come to the realization that it is not appropriate to take something away from someone without compensation, and, if it is in the public interest that the CL site remain undeveloped, that the proper authorities and NGOs come to an agreement with the owners to compensate them fairly.

And with this, I recite the Serenity Prayer.

Ciao.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 02:02:33 PM by Lou_Duran »

Jon Wiggett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #747 on: November 25, 2018, 05:07:19 PM »


Niall,


please ignore the various fonts and font sizes as they are nothing to do with me, hold no significance being just part of the wonders of posting on this site since the last major (upgrade).

no, I would not say you were tainted by working for a company that had dealings with Trump. Now as for your choice of football team well..... Go the Staggies  ;D



Just so everybody understands what happens in the planning clearly. The decision to use a golf course architect entirely a matter for the developer and is chosen and paid for by the developer. They need not be approved by the planning authority or have any qualifications. The developer can chose whether to accept entirely, or alter or reject their work. It is not a requirement of planning.
The decision to use a building architect entirely a matter for the developer and is chosen and paid for by the developer. They need not be approved by the planning authority or have any qualifications. The developer can chose whether to accept entirely, or alter or reject their work. It is not a requirement of planning.
The decision to use a planning consultant entirely a matter for the developer and is chosen and paid for by the developer. They need not be approved by the planning authority or have any qualifications. The developer can chose whether to accept entirely, or alter or reject their work. It is not a requirement of planning.



The use of an environmental expert to make an impact assessment is a planning requirement. They must be approved and hold the relevant qualifications. The developer has no influence over the report. It is a planning requirement.
The Environmental Impact Assessment is a neutral study. SNH & SEPA are also asked to add their opinions to the development and the study.
In the case of Balmedie both SEPA and SNH had objections based on the study to the development and planning was refused by the local authority.


With CL neither SEPA nor SNH had any objections based on the study with the SNH objection being purely procedural. Planning was approved by the local authority.



Jon

« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 02:03:01 AM by Jon Wiggett »

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #748 on: November 26, 2018, 12:51:47 PM »
https://www.gov.scot/publications/planning-advice-note-1-2013-environmental-impact-assessment/pages/6/

Jon

I'm not sure that the above link will work but if not it might be worth tracking down the guidance on EIA's. So as not to confuse, the environmental consultant who produces the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is instructed and retained by the applicant to advise them.

The relevant section on who the consultant works for is as below;


 1.1 Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA) is a process which identifies the environmental effects (both negative and positive) of development proposals. It aims to avoid, reduce, and offset any adverse impacts.

1.2 This PAN explains the role of individual planning authorities and that of the Consultation Bodies in EIA, as well as providing guidance on the ways in which EIA can be integrated into the overall development management process. It is also intended as a point of reference for developers and their consultants - who prepare the EIA Report on behalf of their client - on the role they too have to play in working toward the Scottish Government's aim of more efficient and effective EIA. This PAN does not however provide any detailed technical guidance on how to undertake an environmental assessment, other than to set out what planning authorities and the Consultation Bodies will expect to see in an EIA Report which is both proportionate and 'fit for purpose'.


The purpose of the EIA is to provide information so that the planning authority can make an informed decision. In that respect they advise what they need to do that. I'm not sure that in principle that is any different to requiring plans for a building.

Niall

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Keiser's Coul Links Project (Embo/Dornoch)
« Reply #749 on: November 26, 2018, 01:00:34 PM »
Lou

Iím not going to attempt to respond to a lot of your individual points. Many are clearly hearfelt but Iím not entirely sure of their relevance to this discussion. However let me address your question regarding the planning system. The history of planning is not really my thing but as I understand it the system was developed as a response to poor quality ribbon development and recognition of limited resources etc.

With regards to the development plan, it is reviewed and updated on a periodic basis (every 5 years). Generally speaking development plans are prepared by planning officials who put it to elected officials for approval and adoption. 

Anyone is free to submit a planning application for something that is contrary to the development plan and it will be considered on its merits and in consideration of the development plan.

Niall

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back