Published Thursday, 14 June 2012
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The 350 acre development called Bushmills Dunes, which was granted planning permission by Environment Minister Alex Attwood in February, is set to include a championship links golf course, a five-star 120-bedroom hotel and 75 villas.
The National Trust said that they had been left with "no option."
A statement read: "The National Trust has consistently opposed the planning application and in particular has expressed concern that the entire development is on land which is zoned in the draft Northern Area Plan as the distinctive landscape setting of the World Heritage Site in which no development should take place."
It continued: "This is based on a recommendation by UNESCO - the body responsible for World Heritage designations - that there should be a buffer zone to protect the special landscape surrounding the Causeway."
But, the DUP MP for the area has expressed his disgust at the decision.
Speaking on UTV Live Tonight on Wednesday, Ian Paisley Jnr said he felt there had been a complete failure of leadership from the top right down to the bottom of the National Trust.
I think that is really spiteful and bitter by them and they should be ashamed of themselves.
Ian Paisley Jr on UTV Live Tonight
"This has gone through every single possible permutation of consideration by numerous planning ministers for 12 years - not 12 months, not a couple of years - 12 years.
"And they have determined through all of that process this is the right thing to do."
He accused the charity of "timewasting," trying "to stymie business development" and "maintaining the monopoly in the area."
The MP claimed the charity was "damaging Northern Ireland" and branded the decision "a disgrace."
Mr Paisley Jnr said the whole point of the new multi-million pound complex was to add to the north coast's profile as a golf destination, to attract high worth visitors to Northern Ireland who will spend money and generate new tourism potential.
At the end of the month, the Irish Open golf tournament, which runs from 28 June to 1 July, will be hosted at the Royal Portrush.
The decision was made in the wake of the achievements of Northern Ireland's three golfing superstars in the last two years.
Darren Clarke was victorious in the Open Championship last summer followed the US Open victories of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy.
It is hoped the Irish Open could bring in up to £80m to the region, as it has been estimated that golf tourists spend an average of £400 a day.
SDLP Councillor Donal Cunningham said the National Trust's decision will delay the revitalisation of the local economy.
"The best interests of the people here and across Northern Ireland haven't been at the heart of this decision."
He said that on the eve of the Irish Open "when we're all working together to try and create jobs and boost our local economy, the National Trust appears to be trying to sabotage our tourism prospects; their timing really couldn't be worse."
Cllr Cunningham added: "At a time when youth unemployment is soaring and there is such a deep sense of hopelessness among young people, this legal challenge will do little in the way of discouraging our youth from emigration.
"I appeal to the National Trust to take into account the wider benefits which this development will bring to our region, rather than just serving their own interests."