Royal Dornoch’s plans for new driving range and shop poised for approval

A world-famous golf course in the Highlands is expected to be given permission next week to build a new driving range, tennis court and shop.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club’s proposals for the town’s business park and former abattoir site have been recommended for approval by planning officials.

Councillors will discuss the scheme on Tuesday, and work could get under way at the site soon after, if the development is approved.

A total of 40 new student flats are also being built at the site, connected to the North Highland College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

Royal Dornoch’s development would include a 10-bay driving range covering nine acres, as well as an associated “classroom”, a general practice area, putting green, a tennis court, a pro-golf shop, public toilets and car parking.

Club general manager Neil Hampton said: “The club is always looking to reinvest in the facilities and services that it provides to it members and visitors so the driving range is a natural extension of that desire.

“We hope that it will be looked on favourably as an asset to the town as well as the club and will be used by everyone plays golf in Dornoch and the surrounding area.

“It will be especially useful for all the students who are studying golf at North Highland College UHI as it is well situated just a few yards from the new student accommodation that is currently under construction.”

Access to the site would be from Shore Road, with 49 car parking spaces and four areas for coaches to be provided.

The main shop building would “combine a blend of tradition and contemporary design with a palette of materials to create contrast”.

The building would have a slate roof and external walls consisting of sandstone, white render and zinc cladding, and there would be a small link connecting the it to the driving range.

The scheme’s progress emerged in the same week that the local authority lodged a planning application for a £3million community sports centre at Dornoch Academy, after a 25-year campaign by local residents.

Recommending approval of the driving range application, a report by Highland Council planning officials said: “There are no concerns with regards siting or design and it is considered that the development will provide a positive addition to the area.”