NORTH Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey has expressed concerns over that further delays to the Runkerry Golf proposals could have a devastating impact upon the local economy.
Commenting on recent developments in which the National Trust are seeking a judicial review into the porposal, the DUP representative said:
“The planning application for the Runkerry golf course has been in the system now for over a decade. Throughout that time it has been tested against every aspect of planning policy and its impact upon the environment very carefully assessed.
“This is an application which has full cross-party support within the Northern Ireland Executive and which will bring benefits to the local economy at a time when everyone is feeling the worst effects of the recession.
“The National Trust’s concerns in particular appear strange given that a large Visitors’ Centre is nearing completion at the Causeway; a building which received a large portion of public money.
“On top of this the Trust also have a hotel on the actual Causeway site yet they oppose a development two miles away. “Many people would wonder to what degree they wish to protect their own business with this latest challenge.
“The environmental impact of the Runkerry proposal has been thoroughly and exhaustively assessed, and no-one would take any decision which would adversely affect the Causeway and its status.
“However, those who are raising opposition to the development cannot ignore the impact they are having on the local economy and how they are hindering attempts to boost jobs and prosperity in an area which needs investment.
“I would hope that this saga can be brought to a swift and successful conclusion which can see a major development taking place which will be one of the jewels in the crown for the Northern Ireland tourist industry.”