One of the world’s most famous golfing hotels has applied for a massive extension.
Owners of the famous Old Course Hotel in St Andrews are seeking planning permission for the creation of a luxury rooftop penthouse suite, conference and function rooms and new bedrooms ahead of the 2021 Open Championship.
But those behind the development are confident the timescales involved are realistic, provided planning permission is granted by Fife Council in the coming weeks.
Other improvements at the iconic hotel include the relocation of staff office accommodation, extra car parking and enhancements to internal areas.
Although exact figures have not yet been revealed, a statement from Gray Planning and Development, on behalf of Old Course Limited, described the application as a “further significant planned investment” for the hotel.
“This project would have a significant positive impact on the continued success of the tourism sector in Fife, particularly St Andrews,” the statement added.
“The proposals ensure the business will continue to offer the highest quality and that it is done so in a sensitive and respectful manner in terms of the alterations to the building as well as to any impact on surrounding land uses, the applicant’s neighbours and the wider amenity of the community.”
According to the blueprints, the main function space, known as the Hall of Champions, will be expanded from a 300 capacity to 440 by “re-purposing” existing staff offices known as the “green sheds”, with 40 extra car parking spaces and an outdoor guest terrace among the facilities envisaged.
Meanwhile, proposals for the existing west wing of the hotel will see an additional third level bedroom floor created along with a rooftop penthouse.
Those plans will provide an extra 31 bedrooms to take advantage of golf course and sea views, with a number of existing bedrooms on the first and second floor levels due to be sub-divided and fully refurbished.
All of those proposals will sit alongside separate plans to upgrade the hotel’s electrical infrastructure.
The Kohler Company, owners of the hotel, has undertaken several refurbishment and extension projects in recent years including full replacement of the main building roof, its windows and an upgrade to the ballroom, while an extension to leisure facilities was completed in 2017.
However, time is very much of the essence as the business is targeting a full re-opening of the hotel in 2021 for the return of The Open to St Andrews.
External works on the north side of the hotel, the Old Course side, should be completed by late March 2020 to avoid any impact on St Andrews Links Trust operations, while most of the internal works will be pencilled in during a “west wing” closure at some point next year.