A feud has erupted in Musselburgh between the town's Racecourse and the Old
Musselburgh Golf Course in light of development plans by the former. Dating
from the sixteenth century, the Old Musselburgh Golf Course is reputed to be
the oldest links course in Scotland and occupies a precarious position in the
middle of Musselburgh Racecourse.

The dispute stems from plans by Musselburgh
Racecourse to develop its facilities in order to elevate itself to the status
of a grade 1 horse racing venue, a
move which it is hoped would attract top flight competitors to the coastal
town. The £12 million development would include a lengthened all-weather
course complete with floodlighting at a cost of some £3 million. New
stables and spectator facilities are also planned and the number of annual
race meetings would increase from the current 25 to around forty.

However,
in order to lengthen the racecourse by an eighth of a mile, the layout
of the Golf Course must be altered. Six of the course's nine holes would have
to be moved in order to accommodate the new track, a development which many
Musselburgh golfers feel equates to destroying a piece of Scotland's heritage.
The Golf Course has raised objections to East Lothian Council, which is currently
processing the planning application on behalf of the Racecourse.

In spite
of this, it is expected that development of the racecourse will begin at
the start of June. Many local residents welcome the move as analysts forecast
that the improvements would give a £6 million boost to the local economy.

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