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Investors prepared to back Coul Links Hotel


By Caroline McMorran

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Coul Farm landowner Edward Abel Smith has revealed he is moving forward with a plan for a £20 million eco-friendly hotel in tandem with a renewed proposal for a championship golf course at Coul Links.

Mr Abel Smith intends building lodge style accommodation to service golf clientele should the course get the go-ahead, and says he has been offered the necessary investment.

A planning application for the development, which would create more than 40 new jobs, is set to be submitted “imminently”.

The sweeping Coul Links vista. The planned eco lodge-style hotel would be partly powered through solar panels and a scheme set up to offset air travel carbon emissions of oversea visitors where appropriate. Native tree planting is also being proposed.
The sweeping Coul Links vista. The planned eco lodge-style hotel would be partly powered through solar panels and a scheme set up to offset air travel carbon emissions of oversea visitors where appropriate. Native tree planting is also being proposed.

It was announced last week that a new community group Communities for Coul (C4C) has been formed to reinvigorate the Coul Links plan, previously proposed by a partnership of wealthy Americans but rejected by Scottish Ministers amid concern over its impact on the Loch Fleet Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The new group says circumstances have changed since the original plan was proposed because of the economic downturn brought by the cornovirus pandemic and the need for jobs for local young people.

Mr Abel Smith said: “Given the creation of C4C, I have decided to progress with a plan for accommodation in tandem. Independently I have been approached by a syndicate of private investors expressing interest in funding the erection of some accommodation on the Coul farmland which sits outside the SSSI. This is in anticipation of a vast increase in visitors coming to the area to play the new golf course.”

Surveyors have advised after assessing the site that some £20 million would be needed.

A series of “unobtrusive”, four-room lodges is proposed on farmland overlooking the links with a central building serving as a reception and breakfasting area.

“If planning permission is granted, phase one of the hotel with four lodges and 16 rooms will be built,” said Mr Abel Smith. “The hotel will expand to 20 lodges and 80 rooms. The hotel will be aimed primarily at golfing visitors to the Coul Links course.”

He continued: “We are in the process of working with local architects to finalise the design and will be submitting a planning application for the first phase of the project imminently. However, we will not start any form of construction until Coul Links Golf Course is approved.

“The fact that investors are willing to progress with this scheme despite the current economic situation and the impact it has had on the hospitality industry is an example of the attractiveness of a golf course at Coul LInks.

“We continue to seek further investment to expand our plans further and anyone interested in discussing this further should contact eabelsmith@coulenterprises.com.”


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