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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Historic golf course erosion fear
Golf club
Montrose Golf Links is the world's fifth oldest course
One of Scotland's most historic golf courses needs to be urgently realigned amid concerns over costal erosion, council officials have claimed.

Angus councillors have been asked to urge bosses at Montrose Golf Course to move part of it inland.

Council officials warned that increased sand dune erosion at Montrose beach was posing a risk to public safety.

Increasing tides expected over the next few months will make the sand dunes even more unstable, they said.

A report by Angus Council's roads director Ronnie McNeil has recommended that the golf course operator, Montrose Golf Links, relocates its second and third tees.

'Warning signs'

The local authority is considering measures to deal with the problem, including altering the slope of the most affected dunes to make them more stable as well as erecting more safety fencing.

However the despite the move, it has been predicted that the erosion problems will see the dunes retreat further into the golf course.

Montrose Golf Links, the world's fifth oldest course, said nobody was available to comment on the issue.

Mr McNeil's report states: "Erosion in Spring 2006 has made the dunes system at Montrose beach highly unstable and action has been taken to fence off the southern length along the golf course edge and erect additional warning signs.

"Further action may be required to safeguard the public including active intervention to stabilise sections of the dunes as the system goes through the erosion cycle.

"This will impact on the golf course even further and it is considered prudent to recommend to Montrose Golf Links Ltd that they relocate the second and third tees landward as soon as practicable."

Future action

Councillors will consider the way forward at a meeting later this week, including conducting more research on how to tackle the erosion problem.

A major costal protection scheme for the area has already been ruled out, as it would not qualify for government funding.

Such a move has also been opposed by environmental body Scottish Natural Heritage on the grounds that it could affect a protected coastal site at St Cyrus.

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