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Trump's £1 billion golf course passes legal test

A legal challenge from a pensioner whose home is under threat from a luxury golf resort designed by Gareth Hoskins for US business tycoon Donald Trump has failed

The American billionaire contentious plans to build a golf course at Meine in Aberdeenshire, but Molly Forbes lodged papers with the Court of Session in Edinburgh claiming that proper procedures had not been followed when recent planning applications were approved (see below).

Among the six planning applications passed by Aberdeenshire Council was the go-ahead to plant marram grass, which effectively starts work on the golf course Trump International Golf Links Scotland is developing (see full images here).

Lady Smith, in a written ruling, said the 85-year-old had failed to prove that proper procedures were not followed under planning laws and pointed out that she had not objected to the original application for planning permission to plant the marram grass.

She wrote: ‘At best for her it falls to be regarded as one which suffers from considerable weaknesses.’

Lady Smith also said it was submitted that any suspension of work on the marram grass would cost the company building the resort.

Originally rejected by Aberdeenshire Council in 2008, the high-profile project received outline planning consent in November 2008, after it was called in for a lengthy public enquiry by the Scottish government.

The scheme was heavily criticised by environmentalists, concerned about damage to sensitive sand dunes.

Gareth Hoskins Architects was brought in 2008 to take forward the masterplan for the project, having replaced Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo

Previous story 02.09.09

Trump secures more land for £1billion Gareth Hoskins golf resort

Councillors have backed Donald Trump’s contentious expansion plans for a £1 billion golf resort, designed by Gareth Hoskins, in north east Scotland

The American tycoon has been given the green light to include an extra five plots of land as part of his proposals for the Aberdeenshire development – a massive scheme, which will eventually boast two 18-hole golf courses, 950 holiday homes, 36 golf villas, 500 houses, a 450-room hotel, conference facilities and a new clubhouse. The plans for the Menie Estate resort have already received outline planning permission.

Trump’s son, Donald Junior, attended the meeting, in which the council voted nine to two in favour of the plans. Two homeowners who are refusing to sell their homes were among dozens who objected to the plans.

Although insisting it would be a last resort, Trump has asked the council for compulsory purchase orders for the privately owned land.

The architect behind the development, Hoskins, told councillors during the meeting of the Formartine area committee the extra land was ‘essential’ to make sure the resort met planners’ conditions.

He said: ‘The decision has been taken to go forward with this, and if it is going to happen it has to be the best we can achieve.’

Originally rejected by Aberdeenshire Council last year, the headline-grabbing project received outline planning consent in November 2008, after it was called in for a lengthy public enquiry by the Scottish government.

However, it was heavily criticised by environmentalists, concerned about damage to sensitive sand dunes.

Gareth Hoskins Architects were brought in last year to take forward the masterplan for the project, replacing Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo.

No images are currently available of the scheme, however Hoskins has previously drawn up designs for a golf clubhouse. In 2007 the practice was asked to pen proposals for the GWest Development next to Gleneagles (pictured).

Readers' comments (7)

  • This may never happen however; The Sunday Herald says

    The Trump organisation has been trying to persuade the four families to sell their homes for the last four years, so far without success. Two of them have repeatedly said that they are determined not to move.

    So Trump has asked Aberdeenshire Council to slap compulsory purchase orders on the properties to evict the families. This has provoked widespread anger, and is expected to be discussed by the full council on October 1.

    But the Sunday Herald has been told that most of the 68 councillors are deeply unhappy about compulsory purchase, including the controlling LibDem/Conservative coalition and independent councillors. At the moment, there is a clear majority against the move.

    The council's LibDem leader, Anne Robertson, is said to have been privately telling close colleagues that she does not favour compulsory purchase. And senior LibDem sources have predicted that councillors "will kick it out".

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  • Do read this

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  • Sign the petition

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  • And boycott Hoskins.

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  • I find the previous comment quite astonishing. How is boycotting an architectural practice going to help? Would it be better if american architects were responsible for the design? Get a grip! There are far too many unemployed architects in the UK already, without holding more jobs to ransom because of this bullyboy's landgrabbing malarky.

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  • The Trump bullyboy's landgrabbing malarky is fully supported and endorsed by Hoskins. He spoke at the planning meeting to say that compulsory purchase of local residents' homes and land was vital to his masterplan. So another bullyboy? I say boycott him!

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  • I hope these guys put up a hell of a fight, CPO's for this crap?

    I used to like Hoskins :(

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