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Trump’s architects: trad resort expansion will outlive ‘fashionable’ design


The lead designer on Donald Trump’s £150 million golf resort expansion has claimed his village-inspired masterplan will have more longevity than a ‘fashionable’ contemporary design

Local practice Covell Matthews – also behind the multi-million pound clubhouse on the US president’s 1,500-acre Aberdeenshire resort – has been picked to masterplan the proposals for a new ‘residential community’.

The Trump Organisation announced yesterday it has submitted planning proposals to Aberdeenshire Council for the new housing scheme, to be called the Trump Estate.

The project includes 500 homes ranging in price from ‘£295,000 to several million’, 50 hotel cottages, a sports centre and other leisure facilities.

Andy McNair, consultant at Covell Matthews and managing director of contractor Douglas and Stewart, said the masterplan was inspired by the architecture of north-east Scotland, such as the 18th century village of Monymusk.

‘There is a recognised beauty in the vernacular architecture seen in the North East of Scotland, an aesthetic that we can confidently deploy in this development to long exceed the longevity of the fashionable contemporary,’ he said in a statement.

‘The organised, geometric and regular layouts typically associated with traditional towns and villages is a refreshing improvement to the uncontrolled, sprawling developments of modern planning,’ he added.

But not everyone was impressed. Glasgow-based architect Alan Dunlop said: ‘Apparently, the proposed 500 homes for the The Trump Estate have been “years in the making”. That explains why the architect looks to have started working around 1910.’

Dunlop also dismissed claims by Trump’s backers that the development would boost the region’s economy by more than £250 million and create 268 permanent jobs, along with 2,000 in construction, as ‘extraordinary Trump-isms’.

‘It’s a pity that the design and architecture is not so ambitious,’ he added.

A decade ago Trump said he would spend £1 billion on the estate, creating about 6,000 jobs, along with two golf courses, houses and a 450-room hotel.

But so far the Trump Organisation has only spent £100 million, with one golf course, a clubhouse and a small hotel at the original estate house built on the estate.

All other elements of the scheme – originally masterplanned by Gareth Hoskins Architects – were put on hold in 2012 following a row over an offshore wind farm in Aberdeen Bay that Trump said would ruin the views from the golf course.

But, speaking from the Trump HQ in New York, Eric Trump, who now leads The Trump Organisation, said the ‘time was now right’ for the plans to move forward.

He said: ‘We own a truly phenomenal property along the coast of north-east Scotland and remain fully committed to our long-term vision for the site.

‘Initial interest to our plans have been incredible and, subject to detailed planning approval, we are aiming to break ground next year.’


Readers' comments (2)

  • A recent environmental assessment has reported that Trump's Menie golf course has destroyed half the area of the SSSI that the Scottish Government ignored in the putsch that ousted the chair of the Aberdeenshire Council planning committee when he objected to the Trump development.
    And now another dune SSSI, further north at Coul Links on Loch Fleet, is to be partly destroyed for another US promoter's golf resort, in the interests of boosting the local economy - approved by Highland Council in contravention of their own environmental policies.

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  • The latest in a long line of post 19th century architect designed insults to the distinguished (but much abused) character of the city of Edinburgh.

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