Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and member of the Stormont Culture and Leisure Committees, has said that a legal challenge by the National Trust over development of the Runkerry site is “an insane blow to the local economy on the North Coast”.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also North Antrim UUP Chairman and Party Chief Whip, branded the legal challenge as “the height of stupidity at a time when everyone is working hard to bring more investment into the region”.
Mr Swann added: “The investment into the Bushmills Dunes complex comes at a time when Northern Ireland’s economy is in desperate need of a boost.
“This legal challenge against the development of the site will only succeed in harming our tourism industry at a time when we have the potential to attract more visitors than ever to Northern Ireland.
“Given the global success of our local golfers recently and the forthcoming Irish Open at Royal Portrush, we must do all in our power to make capital of the huge potential of the golf tourism market.
“This ridiculous legal challenge couldn’t take us further away from making gains in this area.
“I think that the legal challenge is ill-advised on the National Trust’s part. The development of the Runkerry site has received a lot of support from the public who are desperate to see local job creation.
“This is not a planning application that was approved without a great deal of consideration; I hope for the sake of the long-term advancement of the region’s economy that this situation can be resolved quickly,” said Assemblyman Swann.