Ury plans back on track

PLANS for a £40 million Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at the Ury Estate near Stonehaven have been revived.

The project originally began in 2001 when FM Group bought Ury Estate and the plans were supported by Aberdeenshire Council’s infastructure services committee in 2008, however the project was stopped when the company backing the plans went into administration in 2009.

Directors of FM Ury Ltd attended Stonehaven Community Council on Tuesday night to announce that plans for the golf course had been revived.

Richard Milne, a director of FM Ury, said: “We have got the estate back and we have got the designer Jack Nicklaus back. We will be fulfilling all our promises.”

Those viewing the new plans, which will be put to public consultation later this month, will notice changes from the original design. The golf course has been moved and the level of housing is different. The plans now also include a retail estate which was not part of the original plans.

Richard Milne said he wanted residents to attend an opening viewing of the proposals at two consultation meetings which will take place in Stonehaven. Community Council Chairman David Fleming explained that due to changes in legislation, the consultation stages now take place before the planning application is lodged, he explained that this process must take place over a minimum of three months.

He said: “It’s very important that people come along to either or both of the meetings to express their views.” He explained that views expressed at the meetings would then be recorded and reported to the Council as “Your views” before the development is entered as a final proposal.

Community Councillors were assured that the plans still include the refurbishment of Ury House with the Directors of FM Ury saying the house would be: “Externally restored as it once was and internally used as part of the club house.”

A question was raised if this would mean that only members would then be allowed into Ury house, however the developers explained they had not gone into detail about access.

Directors of FM Ury Estate also discussed a timeline for the plans, they explained that if all of the necessary permission was given, it was feasible that building could begin in a year to 18 months.

The golf course, which would be designed by Jack Nicklaus, who has won a record 18 majors, would be the second signature golf course to carry his name in Scotland.

A spokesman for Jack Nicklaus welcomed the announcement. He said: “We at Nicklaus Design, including Mr Nicklaus, are pleased to have been provided with the opportunity to resume our association with the Ury Estate project in Scotland.”

He added: “Mr Nicklaus has visited the site several times, and we believe that this special piece of property can be developed into an extraordinary golf course, and one which the people of the Aberdeen area will be proud of.”

Public consultation on the plans will take place on Thursday August 18 in the Invercarron Resource Centre and in the town hall a week later on August 25. Sessions will run from 2pm to 8pm.