Trump Fights For Dream Golf ResortPosted on: 13 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Donald Trump's plans to build the best golf resort in the world are in the balance.
Donald Trump has been testifying as first witness at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre inquiry after an Aberdeenshire Council committee denied his plans to build a £1billion golf resort north of Aberdeen.
The “world’s greatest golf course” was pencilled in for the Menie Estate but environmental groups and local campaigners opposed the bid because of the future of the local sand dunes.
The ambitious plan to transform an environmentally sensitive stretch of the Scottish coastline are at the beginning of a month-long inquiry but a leading financial expert has already told the Menie inquiry, the plans would be a major risk to business tycoon Trump.
Councillors have already rejected proposals for two championship courses, a five-star hotel, a golf academy, nearly 1,000 holiday homes and 500 private houses in one of the biggest single property developments seen in Scotland.
Following the decision, the flamboyant American property tycoon threatened to pull out of Scotland and take the scheme, which he believes to be worth more than £100million a year, elsewhere in Europe.
But Trump has returned to fight his case and for the golf course to go ahead in Scotland because his mum was from the Western Isles.
Major figures in the oil industry, millionaire hoteliers and business leaders in the area have already put their support behind the would-be golf course, regarded as a key element in the future prosperity of the north-east of Scotland after oil runs out.
However, the scheme was opposed by conservation groups which warned that the Trump International Golf Links would damage the dunes and wildlife on the 1,400-acre site near Balmedie.
Part of the course would be built on sand dunes which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the inquiry – ordered by Scottish ministers – has already delighted Michael Forbes, a local resident who refused to sell Trump his 23 acres of land on the edge of the scheme.
On his last visit to Aberdeen, Trump said that the small farm was an eyesore, and the 55-year-old Forbes responded by telling him to “stick his money”.
The tycoon has already claimed the beach is full of dead birds and looks disgusting while continuing his campaign to bring the best ever golf course to Aberdeen.
Trump says: “It will be the greatest golf course anywhere in the world; there’ll be nothing even close to it.
“The fact is it will be something very special, there won’t be anything like it anywhere.”
Opposition to the scheme has included environmental groups, such as RSPB Scotland.
Protesters have claimed that the resort would have a major impact on wildlife and destroy a beautiful part of Scotland.
“The destruction of part of Aberdeenshire’s beautiful unspoilt coastline has been recognised as too high a price to pay for this development.
“We hope that Scotland will continue to offer and promote the best golf courses in the world, but not at this expense.”
The American claims he needs to build the houses to pay for the development, which he wants to construct over the next five years.
Trump originally announced his plans back in January 2006 and the current probe is expected to last a number of weeks.
Do you think Donald Trump’s plans should go ahead? Would it be the greatest golf course in the world? Or are the campaigners right to protest? Give your views in the 50connect forums.
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