Speaking after the decision by the National Trust to take legal action against the planning decision for the Bushmills Dunes golf course, Ian Paisley the MP for North Antrim said:
“I am absolutely appalled by the actions of the leadership in the National Trust over the entire issue. This application has gone through every twist and turn imaginable over the last 12 years and for the Trust to now run to the courts in a tactic to delay and stall the process is nothing short of spiteful.
“This is same the organisation who have a tourist centre paid for by public money on a world heritage site, a hotel on a world heritage site; and a money spinning car park also on the same world heritage site. Not only are they taking a liberty with their current legal actions, but they are also attempting to eliminate any competition, essentially continuing their monopolisation of the area with the support of funding from the public purse. The National Trust has received £9 million in funding from the Northern Ireland Executive. How much of this figure is being used for their current legal case?
“This new golf course development will bring 360 new jobs to the local area in a time of economic recession. The most disappointing actions of this whole saga have come from the National Trust’s own chairman Roy Bailie, who in the past has fully supported the golf course development. Now his support appears to have changed. This is a failure of leadership and maybe Roy now needs to consider his position.
“This is Northern Ireland’s big year - our place, our time. In less than three weeks the biggest golfing event to happen on the island in the past 50 years is coming to Portrush and the National Trust are making it very clear they have “no time and no place” for anyone else.”