Macdonald Hotels has been given the go-ahead to build a £7m extension to its Rusacks hotel in St Andrews in Fife, following an appeal to planning authorities.
The plans, which involve creating a 44-suite extension to the 19th century hotel building, which overlooks the 18th green at the Old Course, were initially rejected by planning officers at Fife Council on the basis that they were unacceptable in scale, density and design.
Macdonald Hotels countered that the development would result in a "very significant" contribution to the local economy, creating 18 jobs, and appealed the decision.
Following the appeal, the extension to the 128-year-old hotel has been given the green light.
In addition to the new glass-fronted suites, allowing visitors a view of the course, the extension will also include a rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace.
The suites will range from 350 to 475 sq ft in size, while the restaurant will have space for 145 diners and will build on the success of the hotel's three-AA-rosette Rocca restaurant, operated by Adrian and Susan Pieraccini.
Macdonald Hotels deputy chairman Gordon Fraser welcomed the planning decision: "This is a tremendously positive announcement for our company and for St Andrews, which will give visitors to the town world class ‘5 Red Star' accommodation," he said.
"This development will set a new benchmark for luxury in St Andrews, attracting many new visitors every year from all over the world and bringing new jobs and major benefits to the local economy.
"We've owned the Macdonald Rusacks since 2001 and are especially conscious of being custodians of one of golf's most famous locations so will be developing the site with the utmost sensitivity.
"Many of the world's most famous golfers have stayed with us when playing the Old Course and only this summer US Open winner Justin Rose described his suite as ‘the best room in golf'.
"Indeed, the balconies at the Macdonald Rusacks have often been described as having ‘the best views in world golf' and our design will carefully blend the iconic location with the most luxuriously appointed accommodation.
The extension to the hotel will also provide valet car parking on the lower ground floor. It has been designed by Scottish firm WCP Architects and will be built using traditional materials in keeping with its location in the historic town of St Andrews.
Work is expected to begin in 2016.
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