Locals reject Donald Trump's golf course claim

Donald Trump has been accused of 'failing to grasp reality' after claiming plans for a second golf course in Aberdeenshire have already received the green light.

The US presidents latest book says his new course has been approved by Aberdeenshire Council, but it has yet to consider the planning application. Picture: Greg Macvean

The US president’s latest book boasts the new course has been “approved” by Aberdeenshire Council, which has yet to consider the planning application.

It comes as new documents reveal the local authority’s planning experts have expressed concerns over “regular conflict between the public and the golf course”.

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Trump has described the plans for the MacLeod course, which would be sited next to the existing Trump International Golf Links in Balmedie, as “incredible”. A decision is expected as early as next month.

However, readers of the paperback edition of the 70-year-old’s latest tome, Great Again: How To Fix Our Crippled America, would be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

In it, the existing championship course is praised for the way it spans “more than three miles of spectacular ocean waterfront”. It adds: “It opened on July 10 of 2012, and a second 18-hole course has been approved.”

The application for the new MacLeod course – named after Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MacLeod – will come before Aberdeenshire’s Formartine area committee on 25 April or, failing that, 13 June, a spokeswoman for the council said.

The issue of public access will be key to the decision. The course would adjoin Balmedie Country Park, which is a popular recreational area in the protected dune system.

Ironside Farmer, environmental consultants commissioned by the Trump Organisation, have said there is “potentially a degree of overlap” between the course and the park.

Now, Eleanor Munro, a council environmental planner, has warned of an “significant adverse impact” on public access, with only two access routes proposed.

She said: “On the basis of the information supplied to date, I would anticipate regular conflict between the public and the golf course, particularly over the southern section of the course, both during construction and following completion of the golf course.”

David Milne, a critic of Trump who lives in a former coastguard station overlooking the Balmedie clubhouse, said: “The boundary with the country park is going to be affected by the course, but the Trump Organisation seem to think they can do whatever the hell they like and get away with it. Trump is just a bully.”

In a statement, Trump International Golf Links said that it already had planning permission for the second course, citing a 2010 outline application and masterplan consent.

The current application, the organisation said, was for the “next stage” construction of the course.