A historic coastal golf club that has served as a qualifying venue for the Open Championship is set for a "radical" upgrade following planning permission for an accompanying housing development.

Founded in 1856, the proposals at Dunbar Golf Club include a new £3.6 million clubhouse, a nine-hole short course, golf academy, driving range and new greenkeeper facilities. Funding will be generated by a new residential development by Cala Homes, with both programmes of construction expected to begin in the spring or summer of next year.

Developers said the planning approval followed a "careful process" that saw Cala and the golf club work with the council to demonstrate how profit from the homes would adequately fund the club’s improvements.

Jacky Montgomery, PGA director of golf at the club, said the new facilities will ensure the long-term attraction of Dunbar Golf Club to international visitors and the valuable golf tourism spending that benefits many local businesses.

The Herald: Cala HomesCala Homes (Image: Cala Homes)

“We first secured outline planning permission back in 2015, so it’s been a long journey to get here but we’re delighted," he said.

“Having these exciting new facilities will not only be a major benefit for our members and visitors, but it opens up significant opportunities for local people to get involved in golf and to enjoy the many health and well-being aspects of participating in the sport.

“From the driving range and academy, through to the short game practice area and the Par 3 golf course, we are breaking down barriers into the game. It will also give us much greater scope to further develop the work we do with our local schools and community groups.”

The build programme for the new facilities and Cala’s new homes will run in tandem. Phase one will see the construction of the clubhouse, golf academy and driving range along with 60 new homes to the south of the site, towards Deer Park Cemetery, while 18 homes will form phase two to the north, on land which includes the location of the current clubhouse.

The course has played host to many national and international championships during its history and has also been a Local Final Qualifying venue on several occasions for the Open Championship when played at Muirfield.