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New Trump golf course in Scotland approved despite local objections

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Scotland authorities approved plans by US President Donald Trump’s family business to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire, despite objections.

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Scotland authorities, on October 16, approved plans by US President Donald Trump’s family business to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire, despite local objections. The Aberdeen council published documents showing it gave planning permission for the development of 18-hole golf course, to be named after Trump’s mother, Mary Anne MacLeod. The course will be built next to the current course on the US President’s Menie Estate, with subject to some conditions such as measures to minimise the flooding risk at the site. 

As the Scottish officials gave Trump’s company the permission, several locals objected to the application and cited the loss of public space and the impact it would have on water supply, private roads and nearby estates. Conservationists have said that the course could have a catastrophic impact on the area’s delicate environment. Moreover, the Scottish Environment Protective Agency (SEPA) also objected to the decision and said that the water management plan was inadequate and the environmental management plan was not appropriate. 

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‘Economic case over environmental case’ 

Trump International Golf Links Scotland built a course on the Menie estate in 2012. Environmentalists have criticised the first course for partially destroying the coastal sand dunes in the area and even said that the second could cause the dunes to further erode. The conservationists had urged the Aberdeenshire council to withhold planning permission for the second golf course but last year the local councillors ignored their warnings and recommended the proposal be given the go-ahead. 

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Since then, the campaigners have been pressing the Aberdeenshire council planning service to overturn the decision. However, the officials announced on Friday that they had decided to go ahead and grant full planning permission for the new course. The Scottish authorities said that the new course will contribute towards the significant social and economic benefits expected to be delivered by the wider development proposals within the Menie estate. 

Bob ward, who is the policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said, “This decision gives a green light to the Trump organisation to further vandalise and destroy Scotland’s natural heritage”. 

He added, “The council sided with Trump International. They accepted the economic case over the environmental case”. 

(Inputs & image: AP) 

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