Carnoustie golf chiefs say they hope to avoid a lengthy closure of one of the town’s courses as a key stage in the operation to lay the power cable from Scotland’s biggest offshore windfarm gets under way.
The cable from the 114-turbine Seagreen project, 16 miles off the Angus coast, will come ashore beside the world famous Open Championship-hosting links and run westwards to Tealing.
A £3bn joint venture between SSE Renewables and Total, Seagreen will be Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm when complete, providing enough energy to power 1.3 million homes.
As the weekend rain rendered all of Carnoustie’s courses unplayable, Buddon Links members are preparing to see their course shut completely this week.
Carnoustie Golf Links chief executive Michael Wells said: “We’re working closely with SSE Renewables and their contractors to ensure the disruption to golfers is as minimal as possible.
“We know that season ticket holders will be disappointed at the temporary closure of the Buddon Links but we are confident that we will be able to open up a number of holes in a matter of days, once fences are up and demarcation means that play can go ahead safely.
“While the Buddon course in its entirety will be fully closed for a very short period of time, we are working hard to reduce the impact to season ticket holders, including providing additional access to the Burnside course and other offers to thank local golfers for their patience during the essential works.
“We are confident that the works taking place will have no long-term detrimental effect and welcome the enhancement that the extensive replanting programme and also the £1.8m community benefits package that SSE Renewables has made available for Angus as an additional benefit of the project.”
Works have been scheduled for a time when there will be no breeding birds on the links and daily monioted buffer zones will be set up around identified nests once the nesting season starts.
A tree management programme will see around 80 trees replanted to new locations around the golf courses, and 200 further specimens removed, but with around 1,000 new trees planted.
The cable project will use a plough which runs on skids to allow the installation of the cable ducts in a way which minimises ground disturbance or removal of vegetation by the surface equipment.
Seagreen onshore works project manager, Steven Reid said: “We’re very conscious of the importance of Carnoustie Golf Links to the residents of Carnoustie and Angus, and of course golfers from across Scotland and around the world.
“We’ve been working collaboratively with Carnoustie Golf Links and Angus Council to preserve the area and make sure that the works are managed in such a way as to remove or minimise any risks to sensitive habitats and wildlife.”