Challenge to causeway resort 'flawed'

Fri, Jan 11, 2013, 00:00

A challenge to planning permission being granted for the £100 million Bushmills Dunes Golf Resort and Spa near the Giant’s Causeway “collapses” because world heritage guidelines have no standing in UK law, the High Court in Belfast has heard.

Counsel for the Northern Ireland Executive’s Department of the Environment argued that proper notification about the proposed scheme was given more than two years ago.

Minister Alex Attwood is facing a bid by the National Trust to judicially review his decision to give approval for the complex to be built close to the Unesco World Heritage Site.

The charity is seeking to block development of a championship links golf course, five-star 120 bedroom hotel and 75 villas at Runkerry near Bushmills.

A judge was told that Mr Attwood acted unreasonably and irrationally in granting planning permission last February.

He was also accused of second-guessing the views of Unesco by allegedly failing to properly consult it before taking his decision.