New holes at Renaissance approved

By AML

Plans to build four new holes at the Tom Doak-designed Renaissance Club at Archerfield in Scotland have been approved by the local authority.

East Lothian Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the plan, which will see the course’s first three holes taken out of play and turned into a practice loop, and three more built on a spur of natural dunesland next to the Firth of Forth. The club acquired the dunes, which previously belonged to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, in a land swap that came too late to be added to the original planning application. Another new hole will be built within the existing course.

Brian Stalker, the council’s development control manager, told the East Lothian News: “Planning permission is now sought for the creation of four new holes as replacements for four of the existing holes, and for the reconfiguration of two of the existing holes. One of the proposed new holes would be formed within the confines of the existing golf course. As now proposed the other three new golf holes would be formed on land adjacent to the present northern end of the golf course which has been mostly cleared of invasive sea buckthorn.”

The duneland is part of the Firth of Forth Site of Scientific Interest, the largest dune system in East Lothian. Amendments to the original plan mean the new holes will avoid the areas of the dunes deemed to be of especially high botanical value. Conservation bodies, including Scottish National Heritage, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the council’s own biodiversity officer, have withdrawn earlier objections to the plans.

The club also plans to invest around £5 million in a clubhouse in the near future. The course has been mooted as a future host of the Scottish Open.

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