Second Donald Trump golf course approved in Aberdeenshire

A second golf course is set to be built at Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire resort after plans were approved.

Donald Trump has had plans for a second golf course at his Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire approved
Donald Trump has had plans for a second golf course at his Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire approved

Councillors on the Formartine area committee today gave the green light to the US president's proposal for the 18-hole MacLeod course by eight votes to four.

It will be built to the south and west of the existing course, which opened at Menie seven years ago.

The new course is named after Mr Trump's mother Mary Anne MacLeod.

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She was born into a poverty-stricken family on on the Hebridean island of Lewis and later emigrated to New York City before marrying into one of the wealthiest property development families in the state.

A total of 18 objections were lodged against the new golf course, with most of the opposition arguing on the facility's environmental impact and public access.

Speaking outside after the meeting, the Trump Organisation's Sarah Malone welcomed the approval.

The original plans for the Menie golf resort had been in by the Scottish government more than a decade ago after being rejected by an Aberdeenshire Council committee.

The full Aberdeenshire Council is now set to discuss a separate application for a major housing development at the Menie Estate.

Branded The Trump Estate, the £150 million development plans would include two, three, four and five-bedroom cottages, priced from £295,000, to larger properties costing more than £1m.

Scottish Greens Aberdeenshire councillor Martin Ford warned Mr Trump was using his 2008 gold course planning permission as a “trojan horse” to pursue other developments in Scotland's north-east.

On the application, Cllr Martin Ford said: “The current planning application for a housing scheme is completely different to the proposal for a golf resort that was granted planning permission in 2008. It is clear nothing resembling the original resort proposal will ever be built.

“But the 2008 planning consent is now being used a Trojan horse – just to establish the principle of development – in the hope of persuading Aberdeenshire Council to accept a large housing scheme in a location that would never normally be considered for housing."

Ford said that approval by Aberdeenshire Council would “represent a major failure of the planning system”.

“When Mr Trump was promoting his 2006 planning application for a golf resort at Menie, numerous claims were made of investment and job creation on an enormous scale," he said.

"In fact, ten years after the outline permission was granted, very little of the proposed development has been built and actual investment and employment are a tiny fraction of what was promised. Effectively, people were conned. We know that now.

“So there is no reason to believe Trump Organisation claims about the current housing application and Aberdeenshire Council will look ridiculous if it falls for the Trump sales pitch a second time.

“Councillors should stick to planning policy and reject the application."