Donald Trump unveils new Menie golf course plans

Donald Trump shows off his Six Star award for the best golf course from the American Academy of Hospitality Science. Picture: SWNS

Donald Trump shows off his Six Star award for the best golf course from the American Academy of Hospitality Science. Picture: SWNS

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DONALD Trump’s dream of building the world’s greatest golf course led to him being branded a “bullyboy billionaire” who had turned one of Scotland’s most environmentally coastline into an “alien landscape” - and a seven-year battle with environmentalists and local residents.

But today the tycoon insisted there would be no repeat of the controversy when he puts a formal application to build a second course at his Menie resort before council planners in the Autumn.

Mr Trump was in typically bullish mood today as he strode the sprawling Menie estate near Balmedie in the company of his daughter Ivanka and son Donald Jnr to speak of his plans to build a second chamionship course at his £750 million resort.

And he confidently forecast that plans for the second course - to be named the Mary MacLeod course as a tribute to his late mother - would go smoothly through the planning process.

He pointed out that only six of the 18 holes would be within the coastal dune system where most of the main championship course has been laid out and would be mainly built on agricultural land to the south of the main links course. None of the area has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) - the zoning which sparked the need for a public inquiry into the development of the main championship course.

Mr Trump said: “None of it is protected territory in terms of SSSI and it should go, and has been going, very smoothly.”

He continued: “Even though many, many golf courses are built in SSSI, we don’t have it in this case. It’s really going very well. I don’t think there will be any issues at all. Aberdeen is booming because of what we have done and everybody wants it to happen.

“The second course is going to be something really special also and yet it will be very different from the first course.”

The Trump Organisation has already been granted outline planning permission for the second course which has been designed by acclaimed golf architect Dr Martin Hawtree, who also designed the main championship course at the golf resort.

It is expected that the planning application will be submitted to Aberdeenshire Council around August and will go before the local planning authority, the Formartine area committee, in Autumn.

Hotel

But the tycoon again made it clear that he will leave plans for a luxury hotel at the resort on the shelf until plans for the eleven turbine offshore wind farm - the £230 million offshore European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre - in in Aberdeen Bay are finally abandoned.

He declared: ”The hotel, I will not build. If I have to build a hotel staring into wind turbines I will not build it.

“Wind farms are a disaster for the environment. Wind turbines are terrible for Scotland. Most countries are abandoning them and they won’t build them anywhere. They are obsolete technology so Scotland really has to rethink that whole problem with wind turbines.”

Wind turbines

Mr Trump claimed: “The wind turbines kill thousands and thousands and thousands of birds. We are a golf course - we don’t kill birds. We try and get birdies and eagles - but we don’t kill them.

“They (wind turbines) kill the birds. They’re very expensive in terms of energy. They’re made in China and, frankly, I don’t know where Scotland benefits. They’re a total disaster for the environment.”

And he declared: “It’s a totally ridiculous project. I think we’re very close to having it abandoned.”

He also claimed that the vast majority of local residents and businesses would be behind the plans for a second course at Menie.

“The truth is we are very, very popular,” he told the media scrum on a high tee overlooking the resort. “I walk through town and we have neighbours that love us. We have great relationships with the community and great relationships with the businesses in the community because the businesses are booming since we opened.”

Award

During his tour of the estate, Mr Trump was also presented with a “unique” six-star award for the “best golf course worldwide” for the Menie championship course from Joseph Cinque, the President of American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Mr Cinque said: “ It is the best golf course worldwide and no one will ever have an award like this.”

He continued: “Scotland is known as the jewel of golfing. Without a doubt there is no place better than Scotland for golf worldwide. I travel the world and inspect many golf courses but today I have seen something that will be embedded in my memory forever. This golf course is the best in the world.”

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