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"Conflict is synonymous with the Giant's Causeway."

Thanks to everyone who sent in Jamie Doward's lengthy Observer story on the legal showdown over the proposed Bushmill Dunes course abutting the incredible Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. The National Trust is headed toward a January 9 judicial review over the project because it lies within a "buffer zone" that Unesco, the UN's heritage watchdog, says is to be protected.

Alistair Hanna, the New York-based developer behind the scheme, talks passionately about its potential to make Northern Ireland the "gold standard" in links golf. The course's designer, David McLay Kidd, has promised Hanna: "If I can't get your course into the top 50 of the world, you should shoot me."

Considering some of his recent designs, Kidd might want to buy a Kevlar vest. In the family tartan, of course.

The development would see a desolate place of dunes and scrub that looks out to where the North Atlantic melds with the Irish Sea replaced by lush greens and a labour-intensive landscape, at odds with the natural environment. James Orr, of Friends of the Earth, has likened the development to "a drive-through burger bar at the Taj Mahal".

Inevitably, parallels have been drawn with the controversy that surrounded Donald Trump's £750m golf resort in Aberdeenshire, with Hanna playing the part of the unloved US billionaire. But the comparisons with Trump can be overblown.

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Reader Comments (7)

The arrogance of some developers is astounding. No wonder golf has a bad reputation
01.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
poor choice of architect in my view.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Indeed chico. McLay Kidd screwed up big time with the Castle Course in St. Andrews.

Hope this message has more success than the one I tried to put up three times on New Year's Day!
To heck with the architect. The concept of needing another golf course, as opposed to leaving a miracle of the earth alone, for only the most wealthy to even be able to play.....

this is like the movie ''The Freshman'', where the rich and bored ate endangered species..... there are plenty of places for golf, but there is only one place on earth where giants made such a masterpiece.

Leave nature be. It really IS EASY to see why golfers get a bad rap.

And Trumps Scotch mess will be taken back by the sea, the sooner the better.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
@ digsouth

Just a little correction on usage, laddie. "Scottish" would be the proper adjective, "Scotch" is a drink. Scotch is what we all need when listening or reading Trump. Lots of Scotch.

Happy New Year, btw.
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdgs
Thanks dgs- I was not sure if it was a dual usage word, and now I know.

I guess you .....err...trumped me. :)

Have a Happy, Merry , Safe New Year-- and here is a toast to you and yours! Cheers!
01.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
@ digsouth ... re the dune, that may be sooner than you think! I'm not qualified to comment on just how the effects of stablising part of this large dune system will affect it longterm. However, if the evidence from one photograph I saw is anything to go by, then the dune itself may yet have the final word. One of the tees was completely covered by sand. This dune system is meant to move and you have to feel that the greenkeepers will have an ongoing battle in trying to keep its rather larger 'neighbour' at bay.

Here's hoping anyway! (lol)

A Guid New Year to you and everyone else btw.

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