A luxury self-catering holiday park in Fife has been granted permission to build a new restaurant – complete with its own helipad for high-flying customers.
The five-star Hawkswood Country Estate, near St Andrews, says it aims to create “Scotland’s finest hospitality experience” with the on-site bistro.
It will seat 38 diners inside and 28 outside, with car parking spaces and a helicopter landing pad to the east for those who wish to make more of an entrance.
Hawkswood makes no secret of the fact its new facility will cater to those with more expensive taste – to the ultimate benefit of the Fife economy.
The management says of its clientele: “These are discerning and well-travelled people with high standards.”
Its plans were discussed at a meeting of the north east Fife planning committee as they were the subject of 30 objections, as well as 40 notes of support from local residents and businesses.
Noisy helicopters, locals claimed, could disrupt the Bowbridge alpacas farm immediately to the south. Objectors were also sceptical about the business’ sustainability.
However, council planning officers said neither council business officers nor the Civil Aviation Authority had expressed any concerns about the plans.
Fife planner Andy Taylor said in his report summarising the plans: “This proposal for the development of a restaurant/bistro in a countryside location has been assessed against policies of the development plan, national policy and other relevant national and local planning guidance [and] is acceptable.”
The restaurant and helipad were approved with conditions attached to ensure the development meets council standards.
Hawkswood has also committed to improving visibility at the exit from the estate onto the B941, owing to the increased vehicular traffic that the bistro is likely to attract.
A Hawkswood spokesperson said of the plans: “This latest phase of our development will take Hawkswood Country Estate to the next level, creating a self-contained, very high quality ‘micro-resort’ which will help the whole area’s tourism industry to recover more quickly from the damaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Since opening six years ago, the swanky holiday park has opened three holiday homes each boasting five ensuite bedrooms, lounges, a kitchen and their own spa – with plans to build several more.
The estate also has its own golf driving range and short game practice area.
By local democracy reporter Jon Brady