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Popular Scone path moving to make way for Murrayshall Estate golf driving range

Murrayshall House Hotel bosses say they don't want walkers and riders to be hit by stray golf balls

Murrayshall House Hotel, with golf course in front
Murrayshall Country Estate is getting a new golf driving range.

Murrayshall House Hotel bosses are being allowed to change the course of a popular public path to reduce the risk of walkers and riders being hit by flying golf balls.

The realignment of the right-of-way is part of a multimillion-pound redevelopment of the Murrayshall estate near Scone.

The existing path – part of a Scone circular walk to McDuff Monument and the Lynedoch Obelisk – has been well used by generations of locals and visitors..

But it runs past the site of a new golf driving range, which already has planning permission.

Murrayshall chiefs intend to move a 100-metre stretch of the route and upgrade the surface.

They say this will make it safer and more suitable for a wide range of users, including people with limited mobility.

Murrayshall Hotel and estate in Perthshire countryside.
Murrayshall Country Estate includes a hotel and two golf courses. Image: Fergus Purdie Architects.

But the plans attracted more than 20 objections, including from the British Horse Society and Scone Community Council.

And councillors heard a series of deputations from opponents before agreeing to the diversion at a meeting this week.

Safety at heart of Murrayshall path move concerns

Critics said they were worried that horses would be “spooked” by golf buggies and noises from the driving range.

However, Murrayshall bosses insist this is the safest option.

A previously agreed re-alignment would have required riders, walkers and cyclists to cross the access road to the car park.

Members of Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and placemaking committee were split on the proposal.

Woman on horse, riding through along a tree-lined path, from behind.
Riders fear the new path will still trouble their horses. Image: Shutterstock.

But the plans were eventually approved – with a condition that the developer plants low growing shrubs along that stretch of path, instead of a hedge.

This is so horses can see what’s going on around them.

A report to committee said: “Importantly, the proposed amended diverted route avoids the risk of path users being hit by golf balls from the new, approved driving range.”

Murrayshall expansion promises jobs boost

Councillors approved a masterplan for the Murrayshall Country Estate in December after hearing the £30 million hotel expansion could provide and support 400 jobs.

The planning committee’s decision gave permission, in principle, for a 50-bed extension to the hotel, along with 40 holiday lodges and up to 30 holiday homes.

A new café, spa and leisure facilities are also proposed.

Two people on bicycles cycling away from the Murrayshall Hotel
Murrayshall is popular with cyclists, as well as walkers and riders. Image: Murrayshall.

However, the application received more than 200 objections.

Critics raised concerns over issues such as the impact on local wildlife and the Perth greenbelt.

Murrayshall owner Stellar Asset Management has already invested £1m on refurbishing 14 of its suites.

The hotel extension will be built to the east of the property, while the new spa and leisure facility will feature a swimming pool, saunas, steam rooms, gym, changing facilities and cafés.

The plans also include provision for outdoor pursuits, such as zip lines and clay pigeon shooting.

Built in 1664, Murrayshall House was modernised in the 18th century and the luxury hotel was established in 1973.

The estate spans 365 acres, including woodland, part of the River Tay, two parkland golf courses and stately gardens.