Donald Trump’s plan for new homes near Scottish golf course sets record for public objections

Donald Trump on the 14th tee at Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie. Picture; PA
Donald Trump on the 14th tee at Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie. Picture; PA
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Donald Trump’s plans for a luxury housing estate near his Scottish golf course have set a new record - for objections.

The president’s company applied to Aberdeenshire Council for permission to build 550 luxury homes near his resort last month.

Donald Trump visited his Balmedie course

Donald Trump visited his Balmedie course

But more than 3,000 people have formally objected to the plans, with another 19,000 signing an online petition being considered by the council.

The total is understood to be a new record for objections to a Scottish planning application.

READ MORE: Trump accounts show losses for Aberdeenshire resort

The development - which would be called The Trump Estate - would include a gym, an equestrian centre, and space for shops and offices.

The proposed homes in Balmedie in Aberdeenshire, would cost an average of £1.32 million - compared to the average local house price of £204,873.

Objections were raised about the lack of access, parking issues, and suggestions the development would not benefit “the local economy”.

The 19,000-strong petition was set up by campaign group TrippingUpTrump and a spokesperson said: “These homes will be unaffordable to anyone except the rich, featuring villas planned to sell for over £1 million.

“No plans for affordable houses, which were promised as part of the planning permission, have been made public.

“They do not appear in the proposed development brochure.

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort remains in red with losses of £3.38m

“This location is entirely inappropriate for a housing scheme; it’s far from amenities and is opposed by people living nearby.

“Planning permission for the golf resort was issued on the basis that the economic benefit outweighed the environmental harm.

“Trump cannot be trusted to deliver on his promises for this resort, and this new development will further damage the beautiful North Sea coastline whilst lining his own pockets.

“What’s more, we’re signing Scotland away to a man who deals in lies and hate, which will damage the country’s reputation.

“Now Mr Trump has the reputation of an international pariah, and his proposed housing scheme is evidently unpopular - hardly reasons to extend special treatment to his planning application this time.”

The homes have been described in planning documents as “the most luxurious in the area” - where the average house costs £204,873, according to the Scottish government.

According to the plans, the homes will have between two and five bedrooms, and be a mix of cottages, townhouses and mansions.

The properties would be individually named, with proposed titles such as Balmoral, Ythan, Forvie and Leighton.

The plans were submitted by Trump International Golf Links Ltd in July and validated by the council in mid-September.

Comments were accepted by the council until last week, and of the 85 public responses accepted, 82 were objections.

Campaign group 38 Degrees also submitted 3,026 official letters of objection, which will have to be processed by the council too.

The authority is also considering the 19,000 signature petition posted on the 38 Degrees site by local campaign group Tripping up Trump, to decide whether it is valid.

The housing plans are due to go before the council planning committee next month.

Martin Ford, green party councillor for East Garioch, now confirms the objection total sets a record number of complaints for Aberdeenshire.

He said residents have had a change of heart since he submitted his hotel plans in 2007, which attracted 2,000 letters of support.

Sarah Malone, Vice President at Trump International Golf Links Aberdeen, said: “Politically motivated and vexatious objections are not relevant within Scottish planning law.

“This project has tremendous support regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Sarah added that the petition set up by TrippingUpTrump was “fundamentally flawed”.