A golf course extension in Dirleton, East Lothian will damage fragile dunes and associated plants today (Tuesday 19 January 2010) claimed the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT). The Trust has submitted an objection to a proposal to East Lothian Council that could see Renaissance Golf Club granted a 3-hole golf course extension on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at West Links Dunes.
Dr Maggie Keegan, Conservation Officer at SWT, said “The Scottish Wildlife Trust believes that the construction of the 3-hole golf course will have a significant negative impact on the Firth of Forth SSSI. There has been inadequate information provided in the Environmental Statement to give us confidence that the proposed mitigation, required as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed development, will compensate for the loss of this nationally important habitat.”
In its objection letter to East Lothian Council, SWT also states that the benefits to the wider economy are uncertain and cannot be a clear justification for the loss of this fragile sand dune system and associated vegetation.
SWT has urged East Lothian Council to recognise its duty under The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 to “further the conservation of biodiversity” and reject this application. Failure to do so would also undermine local biodiversity action plans that recognise coastal habitats such as sand dunes, as being under pressure from development like Renaissance’s application.
Clara Govier, SWT
T 0131 312 4747
Notes to Editors
- The full objection letter sent to East Lothian Council can be download at from www.swt.org.uk/campaigns/consultations/
- SWT is the largest voluntary body working for all the wildlife of Scotland, representing more than 35,000 members who care for wildlife and the environment. SWT seeks to raise public awareness of threatened habitats and species and manages over 120 reserves Scotland-wide.
- SWT receives financial assistance and support from Scottish Natural Heritage and the People’s Postcode Lottery.