New York billionaire Donald Trump has snubbed planners' advice to move his proposed Scottish golf course away from a protected wildlife site.
The outspoken tycoon is working alongside architect Roger Laird of SMC Jenkins and Marr to build 'the world's greatest golf course' in a £1 billion project, but is insisting nine holes of the course remain on a 'unique coastal dune system' in Aberdeen.
It is understood that planning permission for the Menie Links course would be easier to obtain if Trump gave in and moved the course a few yards away from the dunes, but he is refusing to budge.
According to local reports, Trump's vision for the course actually revolves around one of the protected site's key features - a dome of sand.
Designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest, the proposals have brought furious objections from environmental bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the RSPB and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
However, Trump has threatened to pull the plug on the development, with his Edinburgh-based consultants Ironside Farrar stating: 'Without the ability to form the course on this location there would be no basis for the resort, and it would not proceed.'
If given the go-ahead, Trump will look to build two 18-hole links golf courses, a 450-room hotel, a conference centre and spa, 950 holiday homes, 36 golf villas and 500 houses on the 452ha Menie estate.
Upon announcing his plans last year, the garrulous billionaire claimed the investment would be the biggest the region has seen since oil was discovered in the North Sea.by Richard Vaughan