Developers of the planned Feddinch Club have promised that it will be up and running by September 2018.
But objectors to the plan have once again swung into action as an extension to planning permission for the clubhouse and associated facilities is sought.
Writing to Fife Council on behalf of The Feddinch Club, St Andrews Limited (TFC), planning consultants Rapleys say: “The Directors of TFC wish to emphasise there is no risk of failure to continue development. Subject to renewal of the clubhouse permission application, there is every confidence the that the scheme will proceed to completion.”
The position was echoed by TFC director Ewan McKay who told the Citizen that course completion was scheduled for late 2017 and: “As the aim is to open the facility in the summer of 2018, the plan is to commence the clubhouse build in autumn 2016.”
Mr McKay added that course designer, former champion golfer Tom Weiskopf had recently visited the site.
However, planning permission for the clubhouse, which includes 41 rooms, restaurant, shop, landscaping, car parking and renewable energy plant, is conditional on the golf course being completed to a certain level, which has not yet been reached, hence the need for a renewal.
Feddinch’s history dates back around 15 years, but permission for the clubhouse was granted in 2011, in the face of strong opposition.
St Andrews Community Council has consistently opposed the development. When it was approved a spokesman for the council described the decision as “extremely disappointing.
“The site is in green belt; the visual impact, the construction and subsequent traffic will be another imposition on St Andrews.”
Objecting to the renewal of planning permission the council once again cited the green belt.
The St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Limited (STEPAL) has also lodged an objection on the grounds of the development being in the town’s green belt, but its objection continues: “It is also questionable if such a development is required in the St Andrews area.
“While the area has benefitted hugely from golf tourism, the fact is that golf club membership is generally declining in Scotland. There is no evidence that this development would succeed and could easily become a ... white elephant.”
Another objection comes from Confederation of St Andrews Residents Associations (CSARA) which warns that completion of the project is: “unlikely to materialise within a reasonable timescale, if at all.”