Menie refusenik and Donald Trump aide clash as golf clubhouse approved

Councillors approved plans for Donald Trump's golf clubhouse. Picture: Getty
Councillors approved plans for Donald Trump's golf clubhouse. Picture: Getty
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ONE of Donald Trump’s senior aides has branded a prominent independent councillor a “disgrace” after she launched a vitriolic attack on the controversial design for the tycoon’s new clubhouse at his luxury golf resort.

George Sorial, the Trump Organisation’s managing director of international development, told Councillor Debra Storr, a leading opponent of the Trump development, she would be out of a job after the council elections in May as he left a meeting of the planning authority where councillors approved plans for the Gothic-inspired building by eight votes to two.

Visibly shaken, Ms Storr declined the offer of a five-minute recess by the chairman of the Formartine area committee, claiming she was “used to abuse from the Trump Organisation”.

During a heated debate on the planning application, Ms Storr described the design for the 19th hole at the Menie championship links as “laughable”.

She said: “It should have blended into the land rather than sitting there looking like a Victorian lunatic asylum.”

Ms Storr, who had called for the plans for the new clubhouse to be rejected, claimed the design was totally inappropriate for the site and a “Victorian pastiche”.

She claimed: “There was an opportunity here to produce a spectacular design. We could have had a fantastic, modern, new clubhouse. I pity the architect who has been forced into such a design by a client I don’t think has taste.”

But Councillor Anne Robertson, the leader of the council, said she found Ms Storr’s criticisms of the design “objectionable”. She said: “We need to be very clear here: we have a planning application in front of us today and we should deal with the application and stop targeting individuals in this manner. I find it objectionable and actually out of order.”

After the meeting ended in favour of the application, Mr Sorial confronted Ms Storr in the council chamber and told her: “You are a disgrace. You are going to be looking for another job in May.”

Later he said: “She [Ms Storr] has lost her ability to be objective, and that has been well known for quite some time. She should really do the dignified thing and just resign.

“What I said to her is that she is a disgrace and she insults the good taxpayers that elected her. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that she’ll be looking for a new job in May.”

He said the approval of the clubhouse was “very significant” in terms of the overall scheme.

“This is really the final component that we have been looking for, for us to build what we believe will be the greatest golf course in the world. So it’s something we’re thrilled about,” Mr Sorial said.

But he warned that the future of the planned hotel development was still at risk and had been placed on hold because of proposals for an 11-turbine offshore wind farm off the coastline.

He said: “We can assure you that if that proposal goes forward, there will be no hotel. No sane developer would build a hotel that overlooks an industrial park.”