No guns - so Trump's £1bn golf resort will be a haven for birds
Key quote "Every job I build, there's always people who are worried that it might affect them. Will it change our lifestyle? Will it change our environment? I just hope the people from the North-east can have confidence in me. In the end, it will be one of the best decisions they have ever made and I hope they trust in me." - Donald Trump
Story in full DONALD Trump's dream of building one of the world's greatest golf courses on an environmentally sensitive stretch of Scottish coastline is "powerfully" supported by local and national planning policies, it was claimed yesterday.
A detailed planning document in support of the 1 billion golf resort development claims that, despite the fears of bird charity the RSPB and other environmental groups, birdlife will benefit because there will be no shooters left on the former sporting estate to kill them.
The document was officially registered yesterday with Aberdeenshire Council, as the billionaire developer urged the people of the North-east to trust him.
The planning application also claims approval would send a message of support to other potential investors in Scotland.
The glossy document, described by one local planning assistant as "the nicest I've ever seen", sets out the case for granting approval to the tycoon's masterplan to build the "world's greatest golf resort" 12 miles north of Aberdeen on the Menie Estate, near Balmedie.
Part of the championship golf course, which Mr Trump hopes will one day stage the Open Championship and Ryder Cup, is to be built on a designated site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
However, Mr Trump's architects, Jenkins & Marr, say wildlife will benefit. Their document states: "The commencement of the project will result in an end to the shooting of birds on site. This will lead to a transformation in the habitat value of the estate. The proposed golf course will create an environment which will be far more compatible with the needs of birdlife and on that basis will lead to a significant improvement in the protection of wildlife on site."
The architects say the world-class facility could offer "hugely significant" levels of economic development and tourism spin-offs.
They claim the scheme has the support of both national and local planning policies, which could override environmental concerns.
They state: "We believe there is powerful backing for the proposals contained within the relevant policies. Of primary importance is the unreserved pro-motion of new lines of economic development, particularly in rural areas.
"While it is recognised that a wide range of factors will require to be taken into consideration, it is our view that the two most significant issues relate to the economic development opportunity offered by the development and the protection of the natural heritage on site."
Policies governing development on SSSI sites, it adds, stipulate that developments can be allowed only if significant adverse effects are outweighed by social and economic benefits of national importance.
Mr Trump yesterday urged Scots to place their trust in him over his plan. He said: "It will be one of the best decisions they have ever made. It will be very, very special."
Speaking from New York, he said: "Every job I build, there's always people who are worried that it might affect them. Will it change our lifestyle? Will it change our environment?
"I just hope the people from the North-east can have confidence in me. In the end, it will be one of the best decisions they have ever made and I hope they trust in me."
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