Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Jack Nicklaus course at Stonehaven

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waiting for new investor to be found

The Jack Nicklaus course and the rest of the Ury Estate, Stonehaven development plan is dead as far as FM Developments are concerned - but the scheme is certainly not buried.
FM Developments, which went into administration near the end of last month, was owned by two of the wealthiest farming families in Scotland, the Milnes and the Forbes. Both farm in the Mearns and are substantial owners.
John Milne is the head of the Milne "clan" but it is his son Jonathon, who was the boss of FM Developments, which were handling the Ury Estate development. It is believed that Jonathon Milne is also involved with Jack Nicklaus in a course project in the Cape Verde Islands, south of the Canaries.
John Milne, the father, is a farmer in the Stonehaven area - a daffodil farmer, to boot, so he is coming up to a very busy time - and is a keen member of Edzell Golf Club.
When I asked John tonight for an update on the Ury Estate situation, he told me:
"The situation is that the land is there, the plans were approved and are there and we know that Jack Nicklaus is very keen to see it through. So everything is on hold until a major investor can be found."
It was in late February that the £40million scheme to have a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and a luxury hotel on the 1500 acre Ury Castle Estate near Stonehaven was struck a hammer blow when the company behind the ambitious plans - F M Developments - went into administration, yet another victim of the Credit Crunch Crisis.
Joint administrator Fraser Gray said at the time: "We're firmly committed to exploring the future options available for the group's developments and, in particular, the ambitious plans for the Ury Estate and its proposed Jack Nickluas signature golf course.
"This development has received strong support from local stakeholders and, with this in mind, we will be assessing the best way forward over the coming weeks."
Mr Gray has made no further announcement in the media since then.
The Ury Estate was bought by the FM Group in 2001.



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