A bid to build a golf course designed by the world’s greatest ever player today faced being bunkered.
Planning chiefs at Aberdeenshire Council have recommended refusing the application for a Jack Nicklaus Championship Golf Course at Ury Estate, Stonehaven.
The application from FM Group also includes 90 houses, an “enabling development” to pay for the 18-hole facility.
The development is associated with a separate scheme – already approved – to build 230 homes to help restore Ury House, which is earmarked as a clubhouse and boutique hotel for the proposed £80 million complex.
The council’s economic development department said it was supportive of the course and its associated accommodation.
However, the Strategic Development Planning Authority objected because it was contrary to the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan.
A report for councillors said: “Whilst accepting the need and general principle of the enabling development of 90 dwellinghouse to deliver the economic and tourism benefits of the golf course, Enabling Development requires such proposals to comply with all other policies.
“The proposed housing far exceeds the definition of small scale development.”
Kincardine and Mearns area committee, which will consider the plan on Tuesday, is asked to refer it to full council for a decision along with its views.
Jonathon Milne, director of FM Group, said: “Given that the enabling housing part of this development represents a departure from planning policy, the recommendation to refuse was to be expected.
“However, we are confident that the work carried out by our team and independent experts in addressing the majority of concerns, the overwhelming local support for the development and the significant local, regional and national economic impact will outweigh the negatives.