Revised plans for golf resort

editorial image

Developers behind a Deesde golf resort and cookery school project, reportedly worth £100million, have put forward revised plans to Aberdeenshire council.

Original plans to transform Inchmarlo Golf Centre were knocked back by council members in March because the proposal did not comply with Aberdeenshire council’s countryside planning policy.

The revised application, submitted by developer Frank Burnett Ltd, includes fewer homes, a reduction from 125 to 80, with twenty of those homes classed as “affordable”.

Inchmarlo’s main Laird’s golf course would be improved and the group have confirmed that they held talks with renowned US golfer, veteran Billy Casper, now in charge of dozens of course sin America, about the plans.

The development would see the first and 18th holes face an upmarket 75-bed hotel which would be at the centre of the project.

The fresh plans also include conference facilities, restaurant, cookery school and businesses.

Independent research consultant Ekos predicted that the development could generate £56million for the Aberdeenshire economy and create four hundred jobs during the construction phase with one hundred full-time posts.

After the original plans were rejected in March, Banchory and Mid-Deeside councillor Karen Clark explained in a letter to The Piper that her decision to reject the plans was based on the scale of housing and issues with the Glassel Road area, near the proposed development.

Frank Burnett Ltd chairman Stan Troup admitted that the group had taken their time to assess how the plans could be improved.

Mr Troup said: “As we have stated before, we respected the views of the councillors last time, but we were disappointed with the decision.

“During that period, we have addressed a number of matters with specific reference to the various planning issues raised by the council and discussed the same with our professional advisers.

“Naturally, we hope that this time round we can convince the decision-makers to support us and give us the opportunity to bring much-needed benefits to the area, both socially and economically.”

The hotel, which Mr Troup has said would be run by a “world-class” name, would include a fitness centre, spa, swimming pool, sauna and conference facilities.

A new restaurant would link the golf club and the hotel.

The original application also included a Nick Nairn Cook School.

The celebrity chef is on holiday and was unavailable for comment but it is understood he is still in talks with the developers although they are now exploring the option of an “invitational cook school” which would feature various guest chefs.

An all-weather multi-purpose sports area is included in the plans along with tennis and squash facilities.

Inchmarlo Golf Centre started as a driving range in 1994 but has since grown into a four-star resort with two courses, one of which is of championship standard.

Frank Burnett and business partner Colin Wilson bought a controlling stake in the centre in 2009.

The plans are likely to be considered by Aberdeenshire council in September.