Documents give details about controversial golf development in coastal N.S.

Record filed in N.S. Supreme Court by province includes value of Owls Head provincial park

Michael Gorman
CBC News
November 3, 2020

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The parcel of rocky, rugged Crown land in Little Harbour is worth $216,000, according to the valuation report commissioned by Lighthouse Links and filed with the court. Although that report was previously made public, the value of the land had been redacted.

Jamie Simpson, the lawyer for the parties suing over the decision to delist the property, noted the value is based on what the report determined to be the “highest and best use” for the land: conservation and recreational purposes.

Project’s costly challenges

As has been previously reported, the valuation report paints a picture of just how difficult it would be to get the necessary regulatory approvals to develop the land, which is home to a globally rare ecosystem. A presentation to government officials about the proposal, which is also included in the record, illustrates the physical challenges.

The preliminary estimate for the cost of the first golf course is $12.6 million, excluding any infrastructure. The figure is so high, according to the proposal, because it would have to be built on ledge, and sand is not easily available.

“The largest component consists of $5 million for earth moving/ledge removal and covering the area with sand, which must be trucked onto the site,” the proposal reads.

It goes on to say a successful real estate development is going to be necessary to help offset the high costs of course construction. Savings could be achieved if a sand plant is built on the site to convert the ledge moved during construction, according to the proposal.

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