SCOTTISH Natural Heritage has become the latest body to object to plans to build a new a golf course on the Sutherland coast.

The organisation has told Highland Council the proposed development at Coul Links near Embo will harm plants and animals and will damage environmentally sensitive sand dunes.

SNH said it is objecting to the proposal, submitted by American billionaire golf resort developer Mike Keiser, due to the extent of impact on the Loch Fleet Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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Nick Halfhide, SNH's director of operations, said: "We are not able to fully support the development as proposed due to the loss of more than 16 hectares of nationally important sand dunes, and the impact on the special plants and animals found there."

The objection follows similar ones lodged by the National Trust for Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and RSPB Scotland.