Late UNESCO intervention not helpful

20 06 2012

Reacting to news that UNESCO is to call for a further delay in the development of the Bushmills Dunes Golf resort project, SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has expressed his frustration that this call, coupled with the National Trust’s decision to mount a legal challenge will delay the revitalisation of the local economy.
Cllr Cunningham said: “The best interests of the people here and across the North haven’t been at the heart of this decision. This planning application is over a decade old; surely UNESCO and the National Trust have made their representations to the planners, the planning decision had numerous conditions attached, and the plan itself made great use of environmentally friendly technology”
“On the eve of the Irish Open to be staged in Portrush, when we’re all working together to try and create jobs and boost our local economy; the timing of this really couldn’t be worse.
“The tourism spin-off which could be generated from this golf resort is manifold, not just in Bushmills, but in Ballycastle, the Glens and the North as a whole.
“At a time when youth unemployment is soaring and there is such a deep sense of hopelessness among young people, these delaying mechanisms will do little in the way of discouraging our youth from emigration.

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National Trust ‘sabotaging’ tourism development

14 06 2012


SDLP Moyle District Cllr Dónal Cunningham has said the National Trust’s decision to legally challenge the development of a golf resort at Runkerry will delay the revitalisation of the local economy.

Cllr Cunningham said: “The best interests of the people here and across the North haven’t been at the heart of this decision.

“On the eve of the Irish Open, when we’re all working together to try and create jobs and boost our local economy, the National Trust appears to be trying to sabotage our tourism prospects; their timing really couldn’t be worse.

“The tourism spin-off which could be generated from this golf resort is manifold, not just in Bushmills, but in Ballycastle, the Glens and in the North as a whole.

“At a time when youth unemployment is soaring and there is such a deep sense of hopelessness among young people, this legal challenge will do little in the way of discouraging our youth from emigration.

“I appeal to the National Trust to take into account the wider benefits which this development will bring to our region, rather than just serving their own interests.”





Entire North Coast must benefit from Runkerry Hotel & Golf Resort

21 02 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the Planning Minister Alex Attwood’s decision to approve the proposed world class golf resort at Runkerry Bushmills, consisting of a 120 rooms International Hotel, 75 Guest Suites, an 18 hole linked Golf Course, a 9 hole course, a Golf Academy and ancilliary facilities.

“We must ensure that Ballycastle and the entire North Coast benefits from this development and that we keep our share of golf visitors and their tourist value. This is a massive lift for people and businesses on the North Coast and will create much-needed employment in both the short, medium and long-term.

“This hugely enhances our national and international profile as a sublime golf destination and will draw in tourists to the area stimulating our local economy and putting the North Coast into greater focus as a magnificent place to visit

He said: “Ballycastle has a superb golf course with views to match any in the world, Runkerry’s golf tourists can also be attracted to Ballycastle.

“The fact that this will be an eco-hotel is also very welcome and, when constructed, will be a fine example of a sustainable tourism facility in an area of outstanding beauty.

Environmentally sustainable technology will be employed to reduce the carbon foot print of the development, with green roofs, semi-transparent light absorbing photo-voltaic panels that harness solar energy, geo-thermal heating, rain water recycling and a system of natural lighting and ventilation that reduces the consumption of artificial energy

“It is also a very positive step in beginning to address the lack of hotel provision in our area.”