1. Golf is growing in popularity on a scale not seen since the 1920s. This is leading in many parts of the country to proposals for new courses and improved facilities. In some cases these are linked to proposals for associated development such as housing and hotels. Recent research by the Scottish Sports Council ( 1)( 2) indicates that new proposals will continue to come forward in response to a large unsatisfied demand by Scottish residents to play golf. That demand is based primarily in the major urban areas.
2. Through the Scottish Sports Council ( SSC), Government policy is to encourage and increase participation in sport, including golf. Increased participation can be achieved not only through greater use of some existing courses but also through the construction of new ones. The availability of a golf course, sensitively designed to fit into the landscape can also help to improve the image of an area and in doing so assist in the promotion of tourism.
3. The location, siting and design of new courses and facilities will typically present developers, planning authorities and other interested parties with a wide range of issues to consider. Not least amongst these will be the policies in development plans dealing with the countryside and green belts. To assist that consideration, this Planning Advice Note:
- provides background information;
- sets out the locational and land-use context of Scottish Sports Council research;
- restates the existing national planning policy framework;
- identifies the planning issues associated with golf courses and related developments; and
- gives advice on development plan policies.