Green light for historic St Andrews hotel refurbishment and extension

PLANNING permission has been granted for the refurbishment and extension of historic Scores Hotel at St Andrews.

The property is located just a few yards from the first tee at the famous Old Course, overlooking the Royal & Ancient Golf Clubhouse and North Sea coastline.

The initiative, designed by TODD Architects, has been conceived to become a ‘world-class’ facility. It will be developed on behalf of the hotel’s new owners, a joint venture between Links Collection Capital and Northern Ireland-based property investment company, Wirefox.

Fife Council’s planning officers approved the application under delegated powers and work will now start to reconfigure the hotel’s existing rooms and add a five-storey extension at the rear to create a 5* luxury hotel with 51 rooms.

TODD Architects is working on the design with interior design studio, Goddard Littlefair, to develop a ‘unique and contemporary’ scheme.

Andrew Murray, director at TODD Architects, said, “We are delighted to see this scheme gain approval and are grateful to Fife Council’s Planning Team for their collaborative approach and the input of the various Consultees to ensure an efficient and positive planning process for all parties.

“The Scores Hotel has been in existence since the mid 1930s and we fully understand the responsibility of restoring such an important and well-loved building for the local community and the tourism trade in the area. This is made all the more poignant as this year the home of golf hosts the 150th Open on the historic links of the Old Course and we will continue to work proactively with both the R&A, local stakeholders and the wider St Andrews community as the scheme progresses.”

Joanne McBurney, development director at Wirefox, added, “We welcome the positive decision taken by planners at Fife Council and we are delighted to be able to realise our aim to create a world-class facility to complement the existing offer in St Andrews and the site’s location overlooking golf’s most famous course. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents and community groups we have liaised with over recent months.”

TODD Architects’ design will see bedroom floors in the existing terrace reconfigured to increase room sizes and better benefit from the views over The Old Course and North Sea Coastline. The rear extension will sit to the back of the main hotel and is described as featuring a ‘simple, contemporary’ look with materiality distinct from the original fabric but ‘complementing its forms and features’. A mansard roof creates a lighter finish, and articulation is said to create a ‘strong vertical rhythm’ accentuated with recessed and projecting elements for the outer wall.

The ground floor will contain space for a new destination restaurant and a multi-purpose area that can be used for weddings or reconfigured into rooms of differing sizes for corporate bookings. A predominantly glazed link forms a connection between the original hotel and the new wing.

The design also includes the creation of a ‘modest’ new stone and glass entrance, reconfigured to contain a dedicated staircase to an upper bar and restaurant.

Andrew Murray added, “Whilst a truly special hotel, it has been subject to a series of unsympathetic and piecemeal changes and additions, leading to many of the lovely Victorian spaces being carved up into awkward shapes with difficult access and many level changes. The hierarchy of spaces, dramatic settings and potentially amazing views have been lost.

“Our aim is to bring it back to its full potential, respecting the existing fabric whilst making sure our contemporary additions sit gracefully within the hotel grounds and the wider conservation area. It is a rare opportunity to contribute to the ongoing story of such an important and historic building as The Scores Hotel.

“Building on our growing portfolio of hospitality and leisure schemes throughout the UK, we have drawn on our experience to enhance and add value to the property with a workable layout and additions that respect the proud history of the site and St Andrews, the home of Golf.”