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Royal Dornoch’s new clubhouse design is ‘absolutely awful’ and will make town ‘a laughing stock’, says community councillor

By Caroline McMorran

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The design of Royal Dornoch Golf Club’s new £13.9 million clubhouse has come under fire from one of the town’s councillors.

Chris Ferne said the design was “absolutely awful” and would make a “laughing stock of the town”.

Chris Ferne.
Chris Ferne.

Mr Ferne was speaking at the latest meeting of Dornoch Community Council, held in the council chamber.

An artist’s impression of the new clubhouse was made public some months ago, but Mr Ferne told fellow community councillors that he had only just seen it online.

“I was astonished. I could not believe what I was looking at. It is the most inappropriate building I have ever seen,” he said. “It is brutal, absolutely awful.”

He continued: “I cannot believe that anyone either proposed it or approved it. It looks like a cross between a flax mill and a young offenders; institute.

“I would love to be proved wrong, but this is going to make the town a laughing stock.”

Mr Ferne said it was a shame the golf club had not bought a nearby hotel when it was on offer for £3000 in the early 1950s.

And he added that he would be making his views - which are personal and not those of the community council - known to golf club manager Neil Hampton.

It is not the first time the design has been criticised. Golspie resident Patrick Argyle wrote to the Northern Times last October saying the design reminded him of a textile factory or some form of railway shed.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on December 20 to mark the start of work on the clubhouse.

The 18-month project near the first tee of the world-renowned Championship Course will replace the existing clubhouse which opened in 1908 and has been extended in piecemeal fashion over decades.

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