Trump International Golf Links, Scotland
In 2006, Trump purchased a 1,400-acre (5.7 km2) plot just north of Aberdeen at Menie (Balmedie), Scotland, with the intention of turning it into a £1 billion golf resort and "the world's best golf course" capable of hosting world class events such as The Open Championship. There has been opposition from many people both locally and in other parts of Scotland and the UK, and negative reaction from a number of environmental groups, but the project continues.
The development plan for Trump International Golf Links, Scotland (TIGLS) included two 18-hole courses, a 5-star hotel, golf villas, holiday homes, and a golf academy. It was strongly supported by local business leaders but met opposition from local residents, campaigners and environmental groups anxious to preserve the 4,000-year-old sand dunes that are designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Though recommended for approval by Aberdeenshire Council officials the development was initially rejected by a local subcommittee of elected members. However it was subsequently approved following a controversial planning inquiry ordered by the Scottish Government in June 2008, at which Trump personally testified. Work began on the site in July 2010.
In March 2009, the Trump Organization had asked the Council to use its powers of compulsory purchase to acquire some areas of land at Balmedie not forming part of the original TIGLS site for which planning permission already existed. These included four family-owned properties. In response local campaigners established Tripping Up Trump, a movement aimed at protecting the families at Menie being threatened with eviction. When it emerged at the end of January 2011 that Queen guitarist Brian May had agreed to the use of the band's song "Bohemian Rhapsody" in a film highlighting the plight of the families, Trump appeared to deny in a media statement that there had ever been an eviction threat, declaring "we have no interest in compulsory purchase and have never applied for it."
In September 2011, the Trump Organization lodged a formal objection to the proposed construction of a wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast not far from the site of the new hotel and luxury housing. Donald Trump also wrote personally to the First Minister of Scotland protesting mainly on aesthetic grounds at the proposed erection of offshore wind turbines, which he characterized as 'ugly'. His letter claimed that he was protesting on behalf of the Scottish people, 'not... merely for the benefit of Trump International Golf Links.' The Organization's subsequent lawsuit failed as did the appeal.
In 2011, a documentary directed by Anthony Baxter called You've Been Trumped was released, showing the situation of local residents adversely affected by the resort's construction. It contains footage of, among others, economists who query the benefits claimed for the local economy, environmentalists critical of the damage allegedly caused by the development and golfers who voice doubts about claims made for the resort by the Trump Organization. It also shows Anthony Baxter being arrested while filming by a Grampian Police officer; he was later released without charge. Baxter has been quoted as saying that Trump branded the film 'boring' and Baxter himself 'a fraud'. However, the film has won several awards including the Hamptons Film Festival Social Justice Award and the Maysles Brothers Award for best documentary at the Denver Film Festival.
The course opened on July 10, 2012.
- n:Donald Trump to build £300m "golfing paradise" in rural Scotland
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