Scottish Ministers have refused planning permission for a proposed golf course at Coul Links, Embo in the Scottish Highlands. Simon Crabb, junior to John Campbell QC, represented local community group “Not Coul” who were opposed to the development during the planning inquiry. The proposed site is subject to multiple national and international environmental protections and has been designated as a Special Protection Area, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Ramsar site. In the course of the four week inquiry, evidence was heard from a number of leading experts in the fields of coastal geomorphology, hydrology, ecology, conservation and economics.
In the decision notice, the Ministers agreed with the Reporter’s decision that the potential significant adverse effects on protected habitats and species at Coul Links meant that the proposed development runs contrary to the emphasis on protecting natural heritage sites and world-class environmental assets in Scotland. Andrew Sutherland, practice manager, commented: “The Coul Links Inquiry brings into focus the real challenges faced by the planning system in weighing up competing local issues, economic investment and compliance with environmental standards at a national and international level. It is vital that all interested parties are properly represented to ensure access to justice. Arnot Manderson has a number of counsel who like Simon are well placed to take on representation in complex inquiries involving technical expert evidence, policy and national and international environmental protections”.