North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has welcomed the possibility that a major golf course development near Bushmills could go ahead after all.
Mr Paisley said: “Had the planning process been completed within a reasonable amount of time it is highly likely that this development would have already been built and be in operation.
“However, full planning permission still exists for the site and it would be a major boost to the local area, were a decision taken to press ahead with that plan.”
Mr Paisley said there is “huge support for the development within the Bushmills area as people there recognise the impact that golf tourism can have on the local economy”.
“The Open Championship is due to come to Portrush and extra hotel beds in the area are vital,” he added.
“The North Coast has the opportunity to become a key destination for golfers to visit and the Bushmills plans are integral to that.
“I would be delighted if this wonderful opportunity was realised in terms of employment and tourism for the constituency.”
However, not everyone is in favour of the plans. Late last month after news emerged that the Bushmills site was to be bought, Alliance MLA Anna Lo said: “It will be good news for the local environment if plans for a golf resort are now completely scrapped.
“While I support the redevelopment of the North Coast in principle, it must be done in a considered way that protects the environment.
“It is important that environmental considerations are taken into account when granting planning permission for such developments. The Giant’s Causeway is our only World Heritage site and its protection is absolutely vital.”