By Lynn Kernan
Courtesy of the Evening Express
A MAJOR golf and housing development has been backed by councillors.
Plans for US golf champion Jack Nicklaus’s multi-million pound scheme were given unanimous support by Aberdeenshire council committee members.
A heritage expert had warned councillors that refusal could have seen a historic building lost for good.
The plans, which will see a landmark golf resort at Ury Estate beside Stonehaven, were in three separate applications before Kincardine and Mearns area committee.
Dr Keith Stewart, of Stonehaven Heritage Society, gave his group’s support for the scheme, which he said would save Ury House.
“At the heart of the Ury Estate development is a listed building on the ‘at risk’ register in the highest risk category,” he said.
Dr Stuart added that if the mansion was not restored, the B-listed building would have to be pulled down in the future.”
Members previously deferred a decision on the scheme for a site visit.
But they have now agreed to all three sets of plans.
F M Developments Ltd wants to transform the derelict Ury mansion house into a first class hotel, and build a hotel annexe and golf lodges.
To fund the restoration work, 230 homes would need to be built on the estate.
Councillors backed outline planning permission for the lodges, annexe and homes.
This means specific detailed plans must come back to members before work starts.
The housing development must also be considered by the council’s infrastructure services committee.
Councillor Peter Bellarby, pictured, backed the housing scheme plans and said developers had listened carefully to the views of people in the area.
He said: “ One of the things that impressed me is that the developers have consulted with the community council and listened to the community.
“It was originally a proposal which eventually was rejected and the developer has listened to the concern expressed.”
Yesterday, full planning consent was also given to restore Ury House and other buildings at the site and transform them into a hotel and golf clubhouse.