Selling the Dream – Mansion House Marketing Suite Proposals

By Jane Cruickshank / April 28, 2021
grim image of partly restored house through security fencing

A PORTION of Stonehaven’s Ury House could be turned into a marketing suite for homes on the estate – if plans get the go-ahead .

FM Ury Limited are applying for planning permission for part change of use of the mansion house to form a sales and Marketing Suite (Class 1). They state they want the permission for three years to allow for the full marketing of all the developments on offer and to assist the property market to recover from the economic downturn and also the pandemic.

Detail on the drawing indicates the sales office would service the marketing on all the houses built on the estate. And there would be a vision of the future golf course conveyed in ‘The Jack Nicklaus Room’ complete with a central feature containing perhaps a model of the course.

While the Golden Bear has designed some 265 courses, according to the Nicklaus Design website, a golf course on the 1,500 acre estate would be one of only 25 courses in the world that are ‘part of the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club family’.

Sale of homes will enable the Ury vision to become a reality

The homes on sale would include 90 homes at the estate’s North Lodge, needed to finance the building of the championship golf course – £160,000 from the sale of each home is earmarked as an ‘enabling sum’ in a legal agreement between Aberdeenshire Council and the developer, drawn up when permission for the houses and the golf course was granted.

Some projects on the estate appear to have stalled – the supermarket and affordable housing units.

But only last week, it was announced work was underway on the construction of the golf course and housing. The opening date for the golf course was set for early Summer 2024.

Stonehaven ruined Ury House
Ury House before the sale of East Lodge housing which is financing its restoration

And the restoration of Ury House itself, also relies upon the continued sale of new homes – permission was given for 230 houses back in 2011 to finance the transformation. Some 179 are being built at the East Lodge area, while the remaining 51, which have been described as luxury family lodges, will be situated near the Blue Lodge off Slug Road.

As the supporting statement in the planning application states, ”a sales and information area will greatly assist the marketing of the residential aspects of the Ury Development, as the project is an enabling development therefore the sales of the residential homes contribute to the restoration of the Mansion House and allow it to be opened as a centre piece of the golf course as club house with restaurant and accommodation for visitors.”

Long planning history at Ury

This is the latest in a string of applications at the house – dating back to 2003 when the developers hoped to turn the house into nine apartments – this was refused due to the proximity of the Forties oil pipeline.

Their later bid to turn the property into a five- bedroomed hotel with golf clubhouse facilities was successful. In 2016 hospitality industry news sites announced the team behind Andy Murray’s hotel, Cromlix, would manage Stonehaven’s boutique mansion hotel.

But by the Autumn of 2019, and citing the economic downturn, the developers turned their sights once more to creating homes and applied for permission for19 flats within the Victorian facade – an application they withdrew before it was determined.

The house built by Sir Alexander Baird, 1st Baronet, in 1885, is currently refurbished to wind and water tight condition.

Full details of the application along with a facility to comment is available online.

This masterplan shows how Ury Estate should develop