Aberdeenshire Council urged to dump Trump’s golf course proposals in the rough

Chris McQuade

Consumer group hope to bury Trump’s plans in the bunker

CAMPAIGNERS are demanding Aberdeenshire Council denies American President Donald Trump permission to extend his golf course in Balmedie.

A petition launched by global consumer group SumOfUs (SOU) has over 40,000 signatures of objection to the plan it claims will “wreck the Scottish countryside”.

It is urging Aberdeenshire Council to take advice from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) claiming the proposed extension will cause sewage and pollution problems.

“Donald Trump’s planned expansion of his golf course would be an environmental and economic disaster.” Callum Hamilton (SOU)

It also recommend the council consider the environmental impact the plans would make when they meet to consider the extension on 22 August.

SOU campaigner Callum Hamilton said: “Donald Trump’s planned expansion of his golf course would be an environmental and economic disaster, and will cause irreparable damage to the beautiful and unspoiled dunes iconic to the local community.” 

He added: “Aberdeenshire Council must heed the advice of multiple environmental agencies and reject the proposal. Trump was full of big promises when he proposed the golf course, most of which never materialised.

“Trump has demonstrated time and again that we cannot take him at his word. Donald Trump and his golf course are a bad deal for the people of Aberdeenshire, and this expansion must be stopped immediately.”

The move comes after Trump International Golf Links Scotland planned to add a second 18-hole course next to the existing site in Aberdeen.

It is thought Trump – who has been slammed by critics in recent days for failing to explicitly condemn America’s far right after the murder of anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer in Charlotsville – planned to name the new site in memory of his Scottish mother, Mary MacLeod.

In 2008, Trump claimed he would spend £1bn on the site in Aberdeenshire, but has since been met with objections from the local planning authority and campaign groups.

“We have huge plans for future investment. We have a lot of things planned.” Donald Trump

Speaking to the Press and Journal newspaper, Trump said: “We have huge plans for future investment. We have a lot of things planned. We have the potential for a second course, we have tremendous opportunities for residential and hospitality that we are able to do.”

Commenting on the existing course, he said: “It’s on 1,600 acres so you have unlimited room and you’re on the biggest coastal dunes in the world so that’s what makes it so special.

“We rerouted a golf course through it but this was clearly something God created over tens of millions of years – you can’t create 150ft-tall dunes.”

The application for the proposed second course was lodged with Aberdeenshire council in September 2015 and is awaiting decision.

CommonSpace has not received a response from Aberdeenshire Council at time of publication.

Picture courtsey of Steve Jurvetson.

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