Sunday, March 10, 2013


By AUSLAN CRAMB, Scottish Correspondent
One of Scotland's most prestigious golf clubs is said to be bitterly divided over a decision to end the tenancy of a former captain who rents a flat overlooking the 18th and first holes of the Old Course in St Andrews.
Brian Neil has lived in the property for 13 years and friends say he and his partner, Iris Kerr, captain of St Regulus, a ladies’ club in the town, were “stunned” to be asked by the New Golf Club of St Andrews to move out.
The club plans to renovate Mr Neil's one-bedroom flat and two others in the terraced block that adjoins the clubhouse before renting them to students for nine months of the year, and to visiting golfers for the remaining three months.
Mr Neil, a retired construction industry executive, has emailed his friends and supporters in the club outlining his case in a bid to delay the plan.
He said: "I do not know if you have already heard but I have been served with a notice to quit flat No 2 which has been my home since July 2000.
"Whilst this is a serious matter to Iris and me, it is the reason that this is being done that is of great concern.
"I was led to believe that the flats were being given an upgrade to maintain them in good condition and I would be offered the tenancy, albeit with possibility of an increase in rent. This was stated in a letter sent to me on the 22nd October 2012.
"Then, at a meeting with captain, a committee member and the secretary, I was informed of the notice to quit decision and the flats were to be rented out to students during their term and then used as dormie flats for overseas members during the summer period."
He added that he did believe the changes would produce the income expected by the committee, and said he had heard rumours the scheme could cost £100,000.
Mr Neil, who is thought to pay around £600 a month in rent, accused the committee of being secretive, and said the project ought to be put to the membership.
One member added: "This is a terrible way to treat a man who has been a stalwart of the club."
Mark Richardson, the club secretary, said it was a private matter between the club and Mr Neil, adding: “Some members may make comments but they don't know the full facts.
"The decision has been taken and it will follow its due process. It is not an eviction, it is the termination of the lease. It is a short assured tenancy and the proper notice has been given."



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