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Dundee United Chief Walks Away From Resort Construction After Discovering Contractors Had Been Left

Dundee United chief Mark Ogren has walked away from plans for a multi-million-pound gold resort in St Andrews after he discovered that contractors had not been paid.

In 2021, the £25 million development at Feddinch Mains was resurrected when Investment consultant GPH Engineering issued new proposals for the project.

However, The Courier reports that such plans are now in jeopardy as GPH are facing an active proposal to be struck off by Companies House after failing to file accounts. These accounts were due by 21 November 2021.

One of its directors, Dundee United owner Mark Ogren, halted the work in May 2021 after discovering that contractors had not been paid. He blamed his business partner, Hector Pous Rivero, for allegedly hiring multiple contractors behind his back.

In a statement made in 2021, the Tangerines chairman said, “Subsequent to my recent initial investment in GPH, I became aware that site work had commenced at Feddinch Mains, which had been unilaterally authorised by the other director of GPH, with multiple contractors hired by him in connection with such work.”

A spokesman for Mr Ogren confirmed he walked away from the company last October, and no longer has any involvement with GPH Engineering. His resignation came after his row with business partner Hector Pous Rivero.

Plans for the golf club began in March 1999, when Dundee businessman Michael Johnston submitted an application. He subsequently withdrew the proposal before it was considered by councillors, and in 2001 St Andrews International Golf revealed their plans to construct an 18-hole golf course. In 2010 these plans were dropped until fresh plans were submitted in 2014 by Scotia Investment Group. Whilst work started, it came to a halt until 2020, when GPH Engineering bought the site.

Plans involved the construction of a golf course designed by 1973 Open champion Tom Weiskopf. The plan for the resort included a club-house, golf accommodation incorporating up to 39 luxury suites and a spa and restaurant. Other features were to include a wine cellar, cigar room, the Tom Weiskopf library and trophy room and a private business room.

The course was to have a layout of 73 bunkers and a length of 7,373 yards. There were also plans for a 400-yard long range and a 19th ‘bye-hole’ to allow matches to be determined without returning to the first tee. The course was expected to be ready for “preview golf ” in a “soft opening” in May 2023.

On the disruption of plans Liberal Democrats MP for North East Fife Wendy Chamberlain said, “This is another concerning and disappointing development for residents living near the abandoned site.”

“They have had to put up with the disruption and inconvenience of this eyesore for years.

“In recent months the situation has got worse as the site has deteriorated further, with trees being blown onto the adjacent boundary."

Mrs Chamberlain added, “When contacted by constituents about the site last year, it took a number of attempts to get an initial response.

“And even then, the current developers have failed to engage or provide any information about the future of the site.

“I hope a new developer can be found quickly to continue the work and end the uncertainty.”

Local councillor Linda Holt said people were upset at the apparent abandonment of the site.

“They just want to see it properly developed instead of this limbo,” she said.

Image: Jill Rose

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