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Planning permission granted to redevelop historic hotel overlooking St Andrews golf course

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Planning permission has been granted for the refurbishment and extension of The Scores Hotel at St Andrews, Scotland; a historic property that occupies a unique position, a few yards from the first tee at the Old Course, overlooking the legendary Royal & Ancient Golf Clubhouse and North Sea coastline.

The scheme, designed by TODD Architects, has been conceived to become a world-class facility to complement the existing hospitality and leisure offer in St Andrews for local residents and visitors. It will be developed on behalf of the hotel’s new owners, a joint venture between Links Collection Capital and Northern Ireland based property investment company, Wirefox, who purchased the historic property last year.

Fife Council’s planning officers approved the application under delegated powers and work will now commence to reconfigure the hotel’s existing rooms and add a five-storey extension at the rear to create a 5* luxury hotel with 51rooms. TODD Architects is working closely on the detailed design with interior design studio, Goddard Littlefair, to develop a unique and contemporary scheme inspired by the history and splendour of the locale.

Andrew Murray, Director at TODD Architects, said: “We are delighted to see this scheme gain approval and are grateful to Fife Council’s Planning Team for their collaborative approach and the input of the various Consultees to ensure an efficient and positive planning process for all parties.

“The Scores Hotel has been in existence since the mid 1930s and we fully understand the responsibility of restoring such an important and well-loved building for the local community and the tourism trade in the area. This is made all the more poignant as this year the home of golf hosts the 150th Open on the historic links of the Old Course and we will continue to work proactively with both the R&A, local stakeholders and the wider St Andrews community as the scheme progresses.”

Joanne McBurney, Development Director at Wirefox, said: “We welcome the positive decision taken by planners at Fife Council and we are delighted to be able to realise our aim to create a world-class facility to complement the existing offer in St Andrews and the site’s location overlooking golf’s most famous course. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents and community groups we have liaised with over recent months.”

TODD Architects’ design will see bedroom floors in the existing terrace reconfigured to increase room sizes in keeping with 5-Star requirements and better benefit from the amazing views over The Old Course and North Sea Coastline. The rear extension will sit discretely to the rear of the main hotel and features a simple, contemporary look with materiality that is distinct from the original fabric but complementing its forms and features. A mansard roof creates a lighter finish to the building, and articulation creates a strong vertical rhythm accentuated with recessed and projecting elements for the outer wall.

The ground floor will contain space for a new destination restaurant and a flexible multi-purpose area that can be used for small weddings or reconfigured into rooms of differing sizes for corporate bookings. Patrons of the ground-floor rooms can spill out into the freshly landscaped, south-facing garden. A predominantly glazed link forms a delicate connection between the original hotel and the new wing.

The design includes the creation of a modest new stone and glass entrance in a simple contemporary style, reconfigured to contain a dedicated staircase to an upper bar and restaurant.

Andrew Murray concludes: “Whilst a truly special hotel, it has been subject to a series of unsympathetic and piecemeal changes and additions, leading to many of the lovely Victorian spaces being carved up into awkward shapes with difficult access and many level changes. The hierarchy of spaces, dramatic settings and potentially amazing views have been lost. Our aim is to bring it back to its full potential, respecting the existing fabric whilst making sure our contemporary additions sit gracefully within the hotel grounds and the wider conservation area.

“It is a rare opportunity to contribute to the ongoing story of such an important and historic building as The Scores Hotel. Building on our growing portfolio of hospitality and leisure schemes throughout the UK, we have drawn on our experience to enhance and add value to the property with a workable layout and additions that respect the proud history of the site and St Andrews, the home of Golf.”

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BDC 315 : Apr 2024