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Sunday 21 September 2014

Causeway golf resort decision due

Published 26/02/2013 | 16:21

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The Trust says it is trying to protect the Unesco designation of the Causeway as a World Heritage site

A judge is expected to rule on Wednesday on a legal bid to block the development of a £100 million golf resort near the famous Giants Causeway on Ulster's North Coast.

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The National Trust challenged a decision by the Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood to give the go-ahead for the project claiming it would have a huge environmental impact at one of the country's top tourist attractions which is also a World Heritage site.

Mr Justice Weatherup is expected to make an announcement at the High Court in Belfast following a judicial review last month when he heard submissions by legal representatives on behalf of the Trust and the development company.

The investment and advisory group is headed up by Dr Alistair Hanna, a Northern Ireland businessman based in the US who claims the five star Bushmills Dunes Golf and Spa resort, just outside the village of Bushmills, Co Antrim could create 360 direct jobs and an estimated 300 more through suppliers and construction.

His original plans were first submitted more than a decade ago, but the National Trust has resisted the proposal - the resort is a mile and a half from the Causeway - and last year applied for a judicial review following Mr Attwood's decision for work to begin.

Dr Hanna believes the course and hotel could be ready towards the second half of 2015 if the DoE's permission is confirmed by the courts.

The Trust has previously said it is not opposed to golf or development, but insists it is trying to protect the Unesco designation of the Causeway as a World Heritage site.

It also claims the development falls within the four kilometre zone which Unesco has placed around the stones.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/(Giant's Causeway)

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