£80M golf development back on course

An impression of the course, with the Ury Mansion House in the background
An impression of the course, with the Ury Mansion House in the background

FM Group, the developers behind the transformation of Ury Estate near Stonehaven, have today lodged a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council for a world-class 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Championship Golf Course, and enabling housing development along with associated infrastructure and landscaping works.

An independent socio-economic impact report, by EKOS, commissioned for the planning application has said that the proposed championship golf course and associated housing development will generate £55.5million into the Aberdeenshire economy over a 15 year period and create 200 new jobs.

FM Group have said: “The £80million investment in the golf course and 90 high-end homes are at the heart of the overall transformation of Ury Estate, which will see the restoration and conversion of Ury Mansion House into a luxury hotel and clubhouse, a mix of high-quality, traditionally built, affordable and luxury housing, improved access, infrastructure and landscaping.”

Nicklaus’ excitement for the project comes from his long-held affinity for Scotland, its people, tradition for golf, and beautiful landscape settings for golf venues.

He said: “Aberdeenshire is a beautiful area and this site is particularly special. I have visited on a number of occasions, and I think Ury Estate provides us all the components to create a memorable golf experience.

“I think this golf course can only enhance the storied golf heritage long associated with this beautiful country and the passionate Scottish golf fans. We hope it can be a source of pride for the people in and around Stonehaven and the Aberdeen region.”

Jonathon Milne, director of FM Group, said: “This much-anticipated and highly welcomed golf development stalled during the recession but is now fully back on track and, if it proceeds, will really put Stonehaven on the map, attracting tourists and boosting business in the town. It is the final piece in the jigsaw for the Ury Estate development and an intrinsic part of the overall viability of the estate.

“We are pleased that the EKOS report supports our vision for Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire and indeed Scotland with the findings revealing that the net additional gross value added for the Scottish economy could be as much as £95million.”

FM Group have said: “The proposed housing element of this planning application will be low density and very high quality, sympathetic and complementary to the natural surroundings. Current planning policy does not cater for housing but the homes are crucial to funding the construction costs of the golf course which will deliver the economic impact outlined in the EKOS report.”

Mr Milne added: “There has been universal agreement that the redevelopment of Ury Estate with the golf course and hotel will be a major coup for Stonehaven. To make it a reality, the economics have to stack up and we require the proposed 90 homes to fund the golf course as well as the Mansion House hotel and link road.

“Essentially, the homes are the enabler for the development - without them we cannot deliver the golf course and the subsequent economic spin-off for the region.”

FM Group said that feedback from the public consultation, which included a public exhibition, has been overwhelmingly positive.