FM Group

Hotel plans lodged for Ury House walled garden


The hotel plans form part of a larger golf resort proposal

New plans have been submitted to create a hotel along the perimeter of the walled garden on the site of the proposed Jack Nicklaus golf course in Aberdeenshire.

The proposals submitted to Aberdeenshire Council last month would see 32 guest bedrooms and ancillary facilities created at Ury House in Stonehaven

A pavilion section is also proposed to be created in the centre of the garden, which will include a kitchen and seating area for up to 48 guests.

Ury House will be the centrepiece of the £80 million golf resort featuring a course designed by legendary US golfer Jack Nicklaus.

FM Group director Jonathon Milne said: “We really need to get the extra rooms to make the whole development viable. If they get the go ahead, we can start building the golf course and finishing off the hotel and spa. It would mean we could still aim to have the resort open by 2020.

“The castle itself is now wind and water tight, and we want to get in a fit it out. The walled garden rooms will really pull the whole development together and it in no way affects the pipeline.”

Edinburgh property developer to convert castle into luxury living space

Dalnair Castle

Dalnair Castle

The FM Group has announced that it has successfully secured funding to convert Dalnair Castle, a 19th century Scottish Baronial mansion, into 10 luxurious apartments with the support of a £3.3million property development facility provided by specialist bank, Aldermore.

The Edinburgh-based FM Group said it has successfully developed and sold thousands of residential homes and commercial properties throughout the UK and overseas.

The 60 acre development at Dalnair Castle, which is set on the edges of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, will also boast eight mews properties, four plots within a walled garden and a further ten pieces of land set within the existing landscape. Furthermore, residents will benefit from access to new walking and cycling paths, as well as a tennis court.

Simon Knowles, Head of Property Development at Aldermore said: “This is the first development that Aldermore has funded a development in Scotland and it is a fascinating project to be part of. Dalnair Castle is a key landmark in the area and we are pleased to be playing a part in the extensive refurbishment programme, not least because it highlights that there is financing available for this type of challenge. Supporting businesses that transform historic buildings into something that will be as impressive as the Dalnair residential development is exactly the type of work we pride ourselves on and we look forward to doing many similar projects in the future.”

Jonathon Milne, Managing Director of The FM Group said: “As a luxury bespoke homebuilder we spotted the opportunity that Dalnair Castle offered immediately. The next step was then to secure a funding package to enable us to achieve our vision. We were fortunate to have been introduced to Simon and the Aldermore team by our real estate partner – he and his team structured a competitive financing deal that will enable us to create a prestigious, high specification development that will offer a unique lifestyle to our customers.”

Historic Environment Scotland objects to £100m housing plan at Angus hospital site

4347-M-01.drgPlans for a £100 million redevelopment of a former hospital site near Montrose have hit a potential stumbling block after concerns were revealed by Historic Environment Scotland.

The mixed-use development, called Sunnyside Park, will see the former Sunnyside Royal Hospital site in Hillside transformed into housing, retail, commercial development with social housing including affordable, retirement and assisted-living housing in a mixture of apartments and family homes.

Sunnyside Royal Hospital in Hillside closed in 2011 after serving as a mental health centre in rural Angus for 153 years. The site was acquired by Montrose-based Pert Bruce Construction Ltd and Edinburgh based FM Group, under the banner of Sunnyside Estates, from NHS Tayside in a seven figure deal.

The new owners applied for planning permission to build 265 homes in and around the B-listed main buildings having already received permission by Angus Council to demolish eight listed buildings to make way for retirement, supported and affordable housing.

But Historic Environment Scotland has objected to its proposals to level six listed buildings in addition to the likes of the former admin block and chapel.

The government heritage agency said blanket moves to demolish the B-listed nursing accommodation Booth House, fire station, water tank and workshops is “of much more concern”.

“This is the focus of our objection,” said case manager Ian Thomson.

“We welcome the stated commitment to retaining and re-using the Main Building, Hospital Building and Carnegie House, together with their ancillary cricket pavilions and summerhouse.

“However, it would have been helpful if more detailed discussion on the handling of the conversion (even as potential indicative schemes) could have taken place in parallel with these demolition proposals.

“This would have given us more confidence that the loss of certain buildings would allow and enable the retention of others.

“However, this is a discussion which can hopefully take place now.”

Sunnyside Estates completed a justification survey which sought “agreement in principle” from HES to retain the three “primary” buildings.

“All three buildings would be restored allowing the retention and cultural heritage to be preserved and appreciated, and to be utilised and enjoyed by future generations,” it said.

“The high costs associated with the restoration of these fabulous examples of local heritage unfortunately necessitate the sacrifice of other existing buildings.”

David Stewart, director of Sunnyside Estate, added: “Our vision is for a distinctive development which enhances and benefits the local area, sustaining and creating local jobs, has been foremost in our thinking for Sunnyside.”

The development plan indicates the release of around 265 houses, with 140 in the first phase period to 2021, with the remainder to follow within five years.

Oil pipeline safety concerns block hotel expansion plan

Ury-Estate-Mansion-ClubhouseA bid to increase the size of a planned boutique hotel at an £80 million golf course development in Aberdeenshire has been knocked back due to the resort’s proximity to an oil pipeline.

Developer FM Group was given permission last year to create a hotel with five rooms at Ury House near Stonehaven as part of a complex with a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

But revised proposals for the historic building which would have increased the number of room to 35 rooms have been rejected by Aberdeenshire Council after health and safety concerns were raised due to its proximity to the North Sea Forties pipeline.

The Health and Safety Executive warned the council the 235-mile pipeline that links 85 oil and gas assets to the UK mainland and a processing plant in Grangemouth posed a “significant hazard” if more than 10 people stayed overnight at the hotel.

In a letter, the local authority’s chief planner, Robert Gray, said: “This proposal, for 35 bedrooms which could potentially be 70 people staying overnight, is too high a risk for the HSE to accept.

“From discussion with HSE the only real way to mitigate the risk is to divert the pipeline away from Ury House, or relay the pipeline in a much thicker pipe, neither of which is likely to be a viable solution.

“It would result in shutting down the entire pipeline for a period of time, and come at great cost.”

The revised application comes after the developer FM Group said it wanted to increase the number of hotel bedrooms because five was not good “economic use”.

In his letter, Mr Gray said the firm was trying to “maximise” the site’s tourism potential.

The renovation of B-listed Ury House is already under way.

Jonathon Milne, director of FM Group, said: “A five-bedroom hotel which we have consent for is not a good economic use of the building and it could be readily converted to a 35-room hotel as per the plans submitted with the only main obstacle being the BP Forties pipeline.”

He added: “We have asked BP if they would be willing to move the pipeline or indeed cap the entire pipeline in concrete.

“They have confirmed this would involve shutting down the pipeline for a period and that it would not be economically viable.”

£40m residential conversion planned for former Scottish Power HQ

North View - postDetailed plans have been lodged for a £40 million conversion of the former Scottish Power headquarters in Cathcart, Glasgow.

Following extensive public consultation and positive feedback, the property developer FM Group has refined the design of the Spean Street site with the local authority’s planning department and put forward a detailed planning application.

The site comprises the Grade B-listed Cathcart House and a late nineteen sixties office building conversion. Under FM Group’s plans, the B-listed building will be sensitively converted into 80 apartments over five levels.

Integral to the design is the reinstated central light well and amenity courtyard. The ground floor space will accommodate new leisure and commercial outlets. Meanwhile, the office extension building will be refurbished to make way for 45 apartments over six levels with underground car parking and a feature garden terrace.

Jonathon Milne, director of FM Group, said: “These plans have been well received locally and we are excited about the potential for this development which will provide highly desirable, city living, in line with Glasgow City Council policy.

“FM Group has gained a reputation for refurbishing buildings into award-winning mixed use projects. Projects in Glasgow include, The Pinnacle on Bothwell Street, which has positively added to the immediate area and led to further development, 53 Morrison Street, which was the catalyst for the redevelopment of the Tradeston area, and the iconic Herald HQ building.”

FM Group is currently working on the restoration of Ury Castle in Aberdeenshire, alongside its Jack Nicklaus signature golf development and a refurbishment of Dalnair Castle near Loch Lomond into luxury apartments.

£100m mixed use plans lodged at former Angus hospital site

4347-M-01.drgDevelopers behind plans for a £100 million redevelopment of a former hospital site near Montrose have now submitted the proposals to Angus Council.

The former Sunnyside Royal Hospital site in Hillside was acquired by Montrose-based Pert Bruce Construction Ltd and Edinburgh based FM Group from NHS Tayside in a seven figure deal in August.

The mixed-use development, called Sunnyside Park, will comprise housing, retail, commercial and social housing including affordable, retirement and assisted-living housing in a mixture of apartments and family homes.

Sunnyside Estate Ltd, the joint venture company responsible for the transformation, has lodged its planning-in-principle application for a mixed use development on the 64-acre site.

The development plan indicates the release of around 265 houses, with 140 in the first phase period to 2021, with the remainder to follow within five years.

The Principle Class B and C heritage buildings will be preserved and sensitively incorporated into the overall development.

David Stewart, director of Sunnyside Estate, said: “Our vision is for a distinctive development which enhances and benefits the local area, sustaining and creating local jobs, has been foremost in our thinking for Sunnyside.

“We have been working closely with the local community and Angus Council to propose a masterplan design that is a benefit for the area, to maintain the history and heritage of the former hospital, and the natural environment along with consideration to both existing and new communities.

“Sunnyside Park represents an idyllic setting, history and a uniqueness seldom found in other sites and we are very excited about its potential.

“We are passionate about building quality developments that preserve our country’s heritage, employing the best of modern day construction techniques, and to deliver projects and communities of which we can be proud.

“Our plans generated considerable excitement locally and, following a constructive public consultation, we are now lodging our planning application outlining our vision for Sunnyside.”

£80m Jack Nicklaus golf development backed for second time

Ury-Estate-Mansion-ClubhousePlans for an £80 million golf course development in Aberdeenshire backed by American golfer Jack Nicklaus have been approved by councillors for a second time.

Aberdeenshire Council first approved an application by FM Group for a “world class” golf course near Stonehaven, designed by golfing legend Nicklaus, as well as a clubhouse, hotel and 90 luxury homes five months ago.

Elected members were asked if they still back the plans after a court ruling limited the amount developers need to contribute towards transport and road changes for another project in nearby Elsick.

The Duke of Fife, who is behind the neighbouring Chapelton of Elsick development, successfully challenged an £8 million developer contribution bill to the Court of Session.

The Elsick Development Company had been asked to hand over the money to the council’s Strategic Transport Fund (STF) as part of its planning consent – but judges reduced the bill to just £287,000.

The north-east’s Strategic Planning Development Authority hopes to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The ruling meant councillors were given a chance to reconsider their approval of the Stonehaven golf course, but the project was backed during a full meeting of the council yesterday by 48 votes to 13, with one no vote.

Plans for the construction of 1,700 homes to the north of Aberdeen were also re-approved in August after the project was brought back to Aberdeen City Council following the landmark ruling.

Robert Gray, the council’s head of planning and building standards, said the case means the council had been left with “no means to collect any money” for the STF from the FM Group, money which would go towards the knock-on traffic issues at the Bridge of Dee in Aberdeen.

But he added since the STF could no longer be used, the council had to use a “transport assessment” to seek funds for local roads.

Mr Gray said: “Using a transport assessment, we don’t actually require than money from them.”

The FM Group’s developer’s obligations towards local schools and community facilities have not been affected by the court case.

Housing plans move forward after sale of former NHS Tayside hospital site

Sunnyside EstateDevelopers have purchased the former Sunnyside Royal Hospital site in Angus from NHS Tayside, paving the way for a new housing, retail and commercial development.

The hospital, in Hillside near Montrose, has been acquired by Montrose based Pert Bruce Construction Ltd and Edinburgh based FM Group in a seven figure deal.

The mixed-use development will comprise housing, retail, commercial and social housing, with the construction and refurbishment project representing a multi-million pound investment in the local area.

Pert-Bruce, director Craig Bruce, said: “The negotiations with NHS were considerable as NHS Tayside were keen to ensure they achieved the best deal in terms of value for money and financially for the site while securing the long term future of the Class B & C heritage building stock. We feel that our strong local ties to the area set us apart from the rival bidders, and demonstrated our desire to create a benefit for the local area and secure local jobs for both Montrose and the wider community; something which was unique to our bid.”

Sunnyside Estate will be the joint venture company responsible for the transformation of the old hospital site back into a prominent feature within the Hillside & Montrose communities.

David Stewart, director of Sunnyside Estate, said: “‘Sunnyside’ brings together an idyllic setting, history and a uniqueness seldom found in other sites. Our goal is to create a development of distinction that will blend into the mature natural environment and create a legacy for the area, as the loss of the hospital represented a blow to North Angus and we hope to bring this back, by providing a multi-use site that gives both development and open area to add to the local community.”

Rory Ballantyne, director of Ballantynes, who acted on behalf on NHS Tayside in the sale of Sunnyside Royal Hospital said: “Ballantynes are delighted to have completed the sale of a very complex and substantial site. NHS Tayside are pleased that a local firm have taken on the project and their commitment to the regeneration of Sunnyside Royal Hospital was a key driver in the sale process. We look forward to seeing the site transform under Sunnyside Estate.”

Sunnyside Estate now plans to move forward with the current outline plan approved for the site to consult with the local community groups and obtain planning permission to allow construction works to commence.

Stonehaven supermarket plans approved as three rival proposals turned down

Stonehaven supermarketPlans for an out of town supermarket in Aberdeenshire have been approved against the advice from planners.

Applicant FM Ury submitted plans for a 3,750 square metre supermarket alongside a 50-bedroom hotel and restaurant and associated infrastructure at land at Ury Estate, Stonehaven.

The scheme was recommended for refusal after a planning report said that the proposals were “significantly contrary to the development plan”.

The report concluded that the proposed development failed to comply with the sequential test.

It added: “Furthermore, due to its location, the proposal will result in significant adverse retail impacts on both shops in Stonehaven town centre, and the existing Co-op supermarket on David Street, and the scale of adverse retail impact will undermine the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

However, Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee last week backed the proposals and refused three rival bids.

Jonathon Milne, director of FM Group, said: “Councillors have weighed up all the options and have recognised the overall benefits of our proposals as part of the planned expansion of Stonehaven.

“This is the last piece in the jigsaw for the transformation of Ury Estate in a planned and sustained way which provides jobs, opportunities and homes within a highly desirable location that is easy to access for everyone in Stonehaven and beyond.”

The committee also considered three other applications with retail elements at the same meeting, but all were rejected, in line with officer recommendations.

This included Sluie Estate Trust’s plans for a supermarket smaller than 4,000 square metres, a petrol station and associated access infrastructure and landscaping at land at New Mains of Ury, Stonehaven.

Proposals were also submitted by Stewart Milne Homes for a mixed-use development, including up to 250 homes, community facilities, primary school and a retail unit smaller than 4,000 square metres and petrol station at Mains Of Cowie, Stonehaven.

An application by Drum Property Group and Barratt North Scotland for a mixed-use scheme comprising 500 residential units, employment and retail uses at Mill of Forest, Stonehaven was also turned down.

Planning officials had recommended the committee should refuse all four bids as they did not comply with the council’s local development plan.

The full council meeting is on June 30.

Green light for £80m Jack Nicklaus golf course

Ury Estate golfPlans for a £80 million golf course development in Aberdeenshire backed by American golfer Jack Nicklaus have been approved by councillors.

FM Group’s Ury Estate development, near Stonehaven, will see a “world class” golf course, designed by golfing legend Nicklaus, as well as a clubhouse, hotel and 90 luxury homes.

Aberdeenshire Council approved the plans, despite concerns being raised about the loss of ancient woodland due to the project.

Woodland Trust Scotland said the loss of several hectares of woodland, and hundreds of trees, would be one of the largest it had recorded.

The Forestry Commission had also raised concerns as approximately half of the proposed houses and four holes of the golf course will erode a large area of the long established ancient woodland.

But local councillors believe the development will bring visitors flocking to Stonehaven. An independent report concluded that the golf course and housing development will inject £55.5m into the Aberdeenshire economy over a 15-year period and create 200 new jobs.

Following the approval, Jack Nicklaus said: “We are delighted. We look forward to creating a great golf course for Ury Estate.”