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Environmental Issue
Extent of sea defence work at Cambo Ness
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Kingsbarns Golf Links has been built very close to the foreshore. This was not an absolute requirement, given the amount of land available. The developer has chosen, for 'golfing reasons', to locate some holes slap bang against the foreshore.

The foreshore at Cambo, like that anywhere, is a movable feast. Farmers who manage coastal land accept this fact, and they surrender land to the sea in areas where erosion is inevitable.

The developer chose to tackle the North Sea head on, and he called in experts in 'coastal defence strategy planning' to devise a way of protecting precious sections of the course, most notably the area around the 15th hole at Cambo Ness.

The first round of defensive work has been carried out at Cambo Ness and, as a result, the once natural, gently sloping and easily accessible foreshore, has been turned into an obviously man-made, steeply sloped and inaccessible mess. People who have traditionally come to this site of special scientific interest (SSSI) will now find it hard to negotiate their way around the foreshore at Cambo Ness.

Fife Council has conducted a study into coastal erosion and a defence policy has been agreed. Several options exist, ranging from the 'do nothing' approach to the 'must be protected at all costs' approach. Cambo falls into the 'do nothing' category. Further work is bound to be required and this may place Fife Council in an awkward position.

There may be a strong argument for attempting to protect famous, long established, links courses by applying costly defence strategies, but the argument must be seriously reduced in the case of Kingsbarns Golf Links. The developer will be aware of the latest studies into coastal erosion, and the agreed defence policy. The developer had total freedom, and the land available, to plan his course so as to avoid running into such difficulties.

A press release from the coastal defense experts called in to carry out the Cambo Ness work can be found here.


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