Eighteen months after permission was granted to begin constructing a £7m extension on one of St Andrews’ most recognisable hotels, why hasn’t work started?
Macdonald Hotels was given the go-ahead by the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) in May 2016 to build a 44-suite extension at its famed Rusacks Hotel - which overlooks the first and 18th fairways of the Old Course - and work was due to commence later that year.
A press release at the time promised the project, with its rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace – as well as glass-fronted suites – would lead to the hotel boasting ‘the most famous view in golf’.
And bunkered.co.uk has discovered that while it is long past the supposed construction start date, plans are still very much in the offing.
“We are finalising the design phase of the proposed development with our professionals but we have no definite start date for the project,” a Macdonald Hotels & Resorts spokesperson told bunkered.co.uk.
“As one of our most important and iconic developments ever for the company, it is important to take the time to achieve a development to be proud of.”
According to Fife Council, Macdonald Hotels has three years from May 2016 to start development before the planning permission runs out.
The glass-fronted suites will range from 350 to 475sq 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.
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.
Once work is completed, it is expected to result in a ‘very significant’ contribution to the local economy, creating 18 jobs.