Plans to build nearly 80 luxury homes to fund a £3.6m golf club upgrade will bring no benefit to the local community, objectors have claimed.
East Lothian Council planners are recommending the proposals for historic Dunbar Golf Club are given the go-ahead at a meeting of elected members next week.
However the plans, which will see a new clubhouse, golf academy and driving range built alongside 78 new homes, have received more than 50 objections as well as being opposed by two community councils.
Among the issues raised by objectors are claims that the investment will only benefit the club’s private members rather than local people, with none of the new homes being affordable housing and a loss of green public space.
A report to next week’s planning committee said objectors questioned whether “building a new clubhouse” was an adequate reason to allow housing to be built to fund the “diversification of the existing business”.
Plans to build housing on the golf course and surrounding land have been in the pipeline for more than a decade with the argument that the homes would enable the expansion of the golf club with additional facilities including a hotel.
The current plans no longer include a hotel, but propose a new clubhouse, golf related facilities including a new pro-shop, golf academy, driving range, additional nine-hole short course, practice area, maintenance facilities
with associated access roads and footpaths, parking areas, landscaping and open space.
The housing which will be built is made up of 60 five-bedroom houses and 18 four-bedroom houses.
A report to the committee says: “The proposed 78 houses are being promoted by the applicant as a necessary provision of enabling development to cross-subsidise the development of the new golf clubhouse, golf-related facilities including new pro-shop, golf academy, driving range, short course, practice area and maintenance facilities.”
Both Dunbar Community Council and West Barns Community Council have lodged objections to the proposals, which are being put forward jointly by Dunbar Golf Club and Cala Management Ltd.
The report said West Barns Community Council said the proposed development would not benefit people of Dunbar adding “housing should not be allowed in order to improve the golf club facilities for the benefit of their members.”
Planners recommend the application is granted approval, however, saying the local authority had already accepted the principle of allowing housing to enable improvements at the club when it approved an earlier application a decade ago.