Castle Stuart back on track to build second course

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 20, 2019 07:14

Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland, which has hosted the Scottish Open four times since it opened just ten years ago, is set to build a new championship course.

Owners of the venue have received planning permission for a second course.

Plans had already been approved by Highland Council in 2016, with a view to completing the extension by 2020.

The proposals were supported by Arnold Palmer and his golf course design company, and he visited Castle Stuart in 2015 to survey the terrain and meet course staff, but he died in 2016. Furthermore, co-designer of the original Castle Stuart Golf Links course, Mark Parsinen, also died earlier this year.

Acclaimed golf architect Mark Parsinen passes away

Now the club is aiming to get the development back on track.

“The golf course development will be similar in size and scale to the existing championship course and will be defined by the foreshore of the Inner Moray Firth and Castle Stuart Bay, extending northwards to incorporate Castle Stuart as a focal point,” says the planning officer’s report.

“The remainder of the proposed course extends northeast toward the existing course providing easy access between the two courses and will be served by the existing main vehicular access, car park and clubhouse.

“The construction of the course will be undertaken over a period of two years with initial development involving the construction of protection measures around all sensitive areas and creating an artificial dune ridge bund on the north western boundary of Castle Stuart.

Castle Stuart Golf Links

“The proposal was the subject of the council’s pre application consultation process for major developments in June 2019 where general support for the principle and scope of the development was given.

“The development of the second championship golf course at Castle Stuart is to be welcomed and will be of economic benefit to the area enhancing a well established existing facility.

“The key environmental issues associated with this development are similar to those of the first course and the applicant has demonstrated through construction and operation of the existing course an understanding of the need to ensure that the habitat, flora and fauna of the area is protected in accordance with the relevant regulations and guidance.

“Provided the course is constructed and managed in accordance with the terms of this planning permission, there should be no adverse impact on the qualifying species and habitat and will result in a high quality development to the benefit of the area.”

The Inner Moray Firth and Castle Stuart Bay are important wetlands supporting “nationally scarce plants” and supporting up to 20,000 waterfowl as an important over wintering and roosting site.

Earlier this year, the club said it was in discussions with a number of potential investors, including the Arnold Palmer Group, regarding a second championship course and accommodation at Castle Stuart, reports The Herald.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir November 20, 2019 07:14
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