Friday, February 27, 2015



FM Group, the developers behind the transformation of Ury Estate near Stonehaven, are today lodging a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council for a world-class 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Championship Golf Course, and enabling housing development along with associated infrastructure and landscaping works.

An independent socio-economic impact report, by EKOS, commissioned for the planning application has revealed that the proposed championship golf course and associated housing development will generate £55.5million into the Aberdeenshire economy over a 15 year period and create 200 new jobs.
The £80million investment in the golf course and 90 high-end homes are at the heart of the overall transformation of Ury Estate, which will see the restoration and conversion of Ury Mansion House into a luxury hotel and clubhouse, a mix of high-quality, traditionally built, affordable and luxury housing, improved access, infrastructure and landscaping.
Nicklaus’s excitement for the project comes from his long-held affinity for Scotland, its people, tradition for golf, and beautiful landscape settings for golf venues.

The breath-taking Mearns countryside and the majestic centrepiece of the Ury Mansion House attracted Nicklaus, pictured left,  to the site.
He said: “Aberdeenshire is a beautiful area and this site is particularly special. I have visited on a number of occasions, and I think Ury Estate provides us all the components to create a memorable golf experience.
“I think this golf course can only enhance the storied golf heritage long associated with this beautiful country and the passionate Scottish golf fans. We hope it can be a source of pride for the people in and around Stonehaven and the Aberdeen region.”
Jonathon Milne, director of FM Group, said: “This much-anticipated and highly welcomed golf development stalled during the recession but is now fully back on track and, if it proceeds, will really put Stonehaven on the map, attracting tourists and boosting business in the town. 
It is the final piece in the jigsaw for the Ury Estate development and an intrinsic part of the overall viability of the estate.”
FM Group is delivering a transformational development that will have a positive impact on the local communities by enhancing the overall environment, creating jobs and generating wealth in the economy.
Mr Milne said: “We are pleased that the EKOS report supports our vision for Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire and indeed Scotland with the findings revealing that the net additional gross value added for the Scottish economy could be as much as £95million.”
The proposed housing element of this planning application will be low density and very high quality, sympathetic and complementary to the natural surroundings.
 Current planning policy does not cater for housing but the homes are crucial to funding the construction costs of the golf course which will deliver the economic impact outlined in the EKOS report.
Mr Milne added: “There has been universal agreement that the redevelopment of Ury Estate with the golf course and hotel will be a major coup for Stonehaven. To make it a reality, the economics have to stack up and we require the proposed 90 homes to fund the golf course as well as the Mansion House hotel and link road.
“Essentially, the homes are the enabler for the development - without them we cannot deliver the golf course and the subsequent economic spin-off for the region.”
Feedback from the public consultation, which included a public exhibition, has been overwhelmingly positive.

PICTURE CAPTION: An artist's impression of the course, with the Ury Mansion House in the background


Ury Estate has been the subject of many years of engagement with Aberdeenshire Council and the local community to secure the sensitive restoration of the estate and Ury House. This has been delivered within the local development plan process, with the transformation now underway as part of a masterplan for the overall estate which will facilitate controlled development of the site.
The 18-hole championship golf course, an intrinsic part of the estate viability, will be set within the mature landscape setting of Ury Estate with Ury House used as the clubhouse and hotel, providing a long-term use for the unique, but presently vacant and run-down, property.
In the region of 90 low density, high quality houses will be set into the landscape framework to the western edge of the site with access taken off the Netherley Road, with footpaths into the wider community at Ury Estate and thereafter into Stonehaven through an extended network of paths.
The houses will be designed to reflect the architectural style of Ury House with a strong Scottish flavour using a natural palette of materials such as stone, slate and timber. A centralised district heating system is proposed to provide heating to the housing and address carbon emissions, providing higher efficiency and less pollution than localised boilers.


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