Campaign to halt Donald Trump golf course expansion
The Trump Organization hopes to build a second 18-hole course at the Trump International Golf Links Scotland resort north of Aberdeen.
Both the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have formally objected to the plans in their current form over alleged breaches of rules governing sewage pollution, environmental protection and conserving groundwater.
Now a petition started by a global advocacy group has called on the local authority planning department to throw out the application when it goes before councillors on August 22.
SumOfUs, which describes itself as a “community of people from around the world committed to curbing the growing power of corporations”, has previously campaigned against Ineos proposals for unconventional gas extraction in central Scotland.
It is now demanding Aberdeenshire Council to “stand up to Trump and reject his plans”.
“Despite all the warnings from agencies, Trump wants to go ahead with his plans regardless, despite the risks to the local environment,” the petition states. “Aberdeenshire’s dune systems are one of the last true unspoilt wildernesses in the UK - and when they’re gone, they’ll be gone for good.”
Eric Trump, head of The Trump Organization and son of the US President, said last month there were “huge plans for future investment” at the resort in Balmedie.
“We have the potential for a second course, we have tremendous opportunities for residential and hospitality that we are able to do,” he told the Press and Journal.
“There is no other developer in the world that has put in what our family has put into Scotland. That’s great. The jobs that creates, the beautiful assets it restores, the pieces of land like this it develops, the tourism it brings into a country.”
The proposed location of the second course at Balmedie has been criticised by SNH as it claims substantial parts of the course are at risk of damage by drifting dunes.
In a submission to planning officers SNH highlighted an incident last year when the existing course was damaged by drifting dunes during a storm, smothering grasses planted to stabilise the dunes.
SEPA has objected to the Trump Organization’s use of a “soakaway” - pit filled with rubble - to dispose of waste water and wants the company to connect the course and clubhouse to the public sewage system before any second course is built.
The Scotsman has approached the Trump Organization for comment.