Donald Trump banned from flying Saltire at Scots golf course

Trump's Menie Estate golf course in Aberdeenshire is courting controversy for erecting a flagpole without planning permission. Picture: John Devlin
Trump's Menie Estate golf course in Aberdeenshire is courting controversy for erecting a flagpole without planning permission. Picture: John Devlin
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Donald Trump’s patriotism may be popular on the US campaign trail, but councillors in Scotland are not so keen on his flag-waving.

The American tycoon and billionaire businessman has been blocked from flying the Saltire at the clubhouse of his Aberdeenshire golf course after a planning blunder.

The Republican presidential hopeful erected two giant 80ft poles bearing the national emblem on the Menie Estate course last year.

But the sudden appearance of the massive white masts angered local residents and with no planning permission in place, he was forced into seeking retrospective consent from the local authority.

Now councillors on the area committee have ruled against one of the enormous flagpoles.

Councillors opted to refuse retrospective planning permission for a flag pole to the south of the clubhouse due to a “disproportionate impact on the landscape”.

However, they did approve permission for a flagpole near the links course’s hotel, Macleod House.

David Milne, who lives nearby and has clashed with the American tycoon several times in the past, was one of nearly 20 people who objected to the flagpoles.

In his objection letter, Mr Milne said the clubhouse flagpole was “laughable in scale”, “obtrusive” and “inappropriate”.

He added: “The negative effect on the entire coastal stretch is significant and the noise nuisance created by the ridiculously oversized flag is significant at my home some 400 metres, or thereby, distant, it must be even worse for the inhabitants of Leyton Cottage who are considerably closer.

“This flagpole has a negative effect on the tourism to the immediate area and continues the applicants habit of making a laughing stock of the area and the planning authorities.”

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Yesterday a Trump International Golf Links spokeswoman said they would be legally challenging the council’s “bizarre” decision.

And she also brought up a long-running row over the construction of a windfarm in Aberdeen Bay.

Mr Trump has vocally opposed the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre and even mounted a failed legal battle in a bid to stop it “ruining the view” from his course on the Menie Estate.

The spokeswoman said: “There is no legal basis for this bizarre decision which we will, of course, appeal.

“To allow us to fly the national flag next to our hotel but not permit us to fly the exact same flag next to our clubhouse is nonsense.

“Not to mention the fact that this same council routinely approves planning applications for colossal wind turbines that blight the landscape across the region.

“This is small-minded, petty politics at its worst.”

It is not the first time the American businessman has found himself in trouble over flags on his land.

He was involved in a battle with state officials in California over a 70ft flagpole at his Southland Trump National Golf Course two years ago.

The California Coastal Commission suggested that the golf club owner had not filed the required permits to fly the flag and requested that he took it down.

Another row broke out in 2006 when he was in trouble for flying a large American flag on an 80ft pole at his Mar-a-Lago club at Palm Beach.

Regulations stated that no flags could not be flown from a structure any higher than 42 feet.

The city then decided to fine him for every day he breached the rules in 2007.

Both parties eventually resolved their differences after it emerged that Mr Trump had filed a lawsuit against Palm Beach.

He was given permission to fly the flag on a 80ft pole and all fines were all abolished.

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