Northern Ireland to Get New Mega Golf Resort

February 21, 2012

Northern Ireland’s north coast will now not just be known for its beautiful scenery, it will recognised as the site for a newly built £100 million golf complex after proposals on building the resort were given the green light.

More than 10 years after the first planning application was lodged, the developers have overcome National Trust resistance to begin work on the site close to the famous Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim.

The new Bushmills Dunes Golf Resort & Spa will include a championship links, a five-star 120-bedroom hotel and 75 villas. The project could create at least 360 jobs.

Construction could start later this year in a bid to have the course and accommodation ready by the summer of 2014.

The investment is headed by a New York-based Northern Ireland management expert and scientist Dr Alistair Hanna, 67, originally from Holywood, Co Down – the home town of US Open golf champion Rory McIlroy.

British Open champion Darren Clarke lives a few miles from the proposed course, close to neighbouring Royal Portrush golf club where the Irish Open will take place this summer.

Graeme McDowell, a friend of both players and winner of the US Open in 2010, also comes from Portrush.

The first planning application was submitted in 2001 and then renewed six years later.

There was considerable opposition by the National Trust, owners of nearby Giant’s Causeway, a Unesco world heritage site where a new visitors’ centre is due to open this summer after another lengthy planning process.

by Ismail Uddin