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SBD Global/December 31, 2012/Facilities

National Trust Seeking To Block $166M Golf Course Planned On World Heritage Site

U.K. campaigning group the National Trust has challenged a "Donald Trump-style plan backed by Northern Irish politicians" for a five-star resort on a World Heritage site in Northern Ireland, according to Jamie Doward of the London GUARDIAN. The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland is "at the centre of conflict." The National Trust is "seeking to thwart the development" of a £100M ($161M) golf course on the edge of the causeway, Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage site. The trust, which is charged with protecting the site, is "using a judicial review to challenge the Northern Ireland government's decision to grant planning permission" to a five-star resort that will boast a clubhouse, 120-bedroom hotel and 75 guest suites. Many see the development of the Bushmills Dunes golf course as "a major regeneration project" due to its ability to create hundreds of jobs. The trust disagrees on the grounds that the course, which would be 500m from the causeway, lies within a "buffer zone" that UNESCO says must be protected. The looming legal row "is due to commence " on Jan. 9. 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." Environmental group Friends of the Earth Dir James Orr compared the development to "a drive-through burger bar at the Taj Mahal" (GUARDIAN, 12/29).
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