£100M Causeway club to be built

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 22, 2012 10:42

A controversial £100 million golf resort one mile from the World Heritage Site of the Giant’s Causeway is to be built.

The construction of the Bushmill Dunes Golf Resort and Spa in Northern Ireland has been given the go ahead, despite opposition from the National Trust and Friends of the Earth, by the country’s environment minister, who said the project would bring economic and golfing benefits. The golf club will include an 18-hole championship course, a large clubhouse, a 120-room hotel, a golf academy and 75 self-catering cottages, and create 360 new jobs.

It could be open for business as soon as 2014.

The hexagonal rock formations caused by an ancient volcanic eruption attract 700,000 tourists every year, making them Northern Ireland’s top tourist attraction.

“The development is an important one for the causeway coast and for Northern Ireland, will help to grow tourism, create new job opportunities, enhance our golf product and continue to protect our natural heritage, such a big part of the quality of our lives,” said Alex Attwood, Northern Ireland’s environment minister.

North Antrim MP, Ian Paisley, added: “The Bushmills Dunes course will be a significant asset for the region and a significant tourist facility. It will become one of the most iconic golf courses in the world, generate employment and write a new chapter in the history of this ancient coastline.”

In echoes of the arguments Donald Trump’s team made to support the building of the ‘world’s greatest golf course’ in Aberdeenshire despite environmental opposition, Dr Alistair Hanna, who is leading the investment consortium behind the project, said the area will be one of the best in the world for golfing provision.

“We believe that with Bushmills Dunes, Portrush, Portstewart and Castlerock, we will have four world-class links golf courses within half an hour of each other,” he said.

“There is nowhere else in the world, except maybe St Andrews, where you can offer that.”

However, Friends of the Earth’s James Orr said that while he supported the building of new golf courses, he was dismayed at the location chosen for this site.

“By all means build another golf resort and hotel, but not here,” he said. “Is it too much to ask that we build it in the right place and in a way that is supported by planning policies?

“Planning policies for that area are very clear – the landscape around the Giant’s Causeway should be protected. Instead, a form of landscape trauma is being permitted at Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site. It’s like building a drive-through burger bar at the Taj Mahal. The precedent set today is that our planning system still cannot protect our most special places.”

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 22, 2012 10:42
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  1. Kevin Markham (@kevinmarkham) February 22, 21:42

    » £100M Causeway club to be built http://t.co/uwoeQp7f

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  2. Giants Causeway (@GiantsCauseway1) February 22, 11:50

    Attwood has incredibly given it the Giant’s Causeway go ahead – disappointing news: http://t.co/vErE2S3o

    Reply to this comment
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