THE entrance to an Irvine golf club is expected to receive a fresh new look as part of a multi million pound investment from new owners.

Plans for a new gatehouse at the entrance to Dundonald Links were validated this week after 97 holiday lodges and a new clubhouse complete with bar, restaurant and gym were previously approved.

This comes after the course – which hosted both the Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open – was purchased by new owners Darwin Leisure Development Properties.

We previously reported how plans would increase employment from 22 to 61 across the golf course and deliver a new permanent golf clubhouse which has been a longterm goal at the club for years.

A statement on behalf of the owners said the new entrance would ‘improve guests and visitor’s sense of arrival’ when entering the grounds from Ayr Road.

They said: “Our client considers the delivery of a new gatehouse as a key development objective, creating a high-quality entrance feature and a heightened sense of arrival.

“A gatehouse will therefore provide a legible public entrance way for visitors and improve guest experience, which is key in the transformation of Dundonald Links Golf Course into a high-quality golfing destination.

“The entrance feature with a central control Gatehouse will replace the current ‘industrial’ raising barrier and low key walls.

“The gatehouse is to be occupied at peak times to control access into the course. Permanent vehicle access control is also required. The gatehouse will have a data link back to the clubhouse and there will be an audio call point for visitors to gain access when the gatehouse is unmanned.

“The intent has been to reference Scottish Baronial architecture albeit at a small scale by utilising a semi-circular form for the gatehouse and introducing circular ‘gateposts’ to the ends of the flanking walls.

“Our client has the ambition to make Dundonald Links a major destination for both local and international golfers and to achieve this they wish to have facilities to match the course. The existing entrance into the course does not provide the impression of the desired quality.

“The introduction of new walls, gates and a central feature gatehouse using local stone and relating to historic forms will create a more imposing entrance suitable to our client’s aspirations.”