Northern Ireland

Runkerry golf complex row: judge's National Trust membership not an issue

An impression of what the new hotel will look like at Runkerry
Image caption An impression of what the proposed new hotel would look like at Runkerry

The parties involved in a legal case surrounding the multi-million pound Runkerry golf complex say they have no objection to the judge being a member of the National Trust.

Mr Justice Treacy granted leave for a judicial review in June after an application was made by the National Trust, which is opposed to the golf development close to the Giants Causeway.

The charity is convinced that the application to build a 18-hole golf complex and hotel was contrary to the Department of Environment's planning policies.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood previously said he had examined all issues before giving the £100m project the go-ahead.

Judge Seamus Treacy, who is due to hear the case, has contacted the National Trust and the Department of Environment to say he may be a member of the trust.

It is understood the judge was recently at an event held by the National Trust and completed an application form.

He has since asked the parties involved if they had any issues with him hearing the case and they have not raised any objections.

A spokeswoman for the Department of the Environment said it had "no difficulty in the circumstances with the judge hearing the case".

She also confirmed that "the developer also had no objection".

However, a spokeswoman for the National Trust said: "We are not aware of any correspondence being received.

"We are currently checking this with our legal team."

The case has been listed for a four-day hearing in November.

You can follow Stephen Walker on Twitter @StepWalkTV

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