Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Trump's firm wins bid to build 550 luxury homes by his Scottish golf course

Trump Organization’s £20m housing scheme approved despite record number of objections

Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of Trump International Golf Links Scotland, poses with plans for the expansion of the Menie Estate. The development of 550 luxury and holiday homes, which was approved today by the Aberdeenshire council, will sit aside a new golf course, named MacLeod after Donald Trump's mother, that was approved earlier this week. Michal Wachucik/Getty Images
Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of Trump International Golf Links Scotland, poses with plans for the expansion of the Menie Estate. The development of 550 luxury and holiday homes, which was approved today by the Aberdeenshire council, will sit aside a new golf course, named MacLeod after Donald Trump's mother, that was approved earlier this week. Michal Wachucik/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s family firm has won permission to build a £20m luxury housing complex next to his Scottish golf course.

The plan to build 550 homes next to his Aberdeenshire golf course was met with a record number of objections.

But councillors approved the proposals by 38 votes to 24 after planning officers revealed it would boost tourism in the area and generate jobs.

The decision comes just days after the Trump Organization was granted permission to create a second 18-hole golf course close to the housing estate.

The new golf course will be named MacLeod after Donald Trump's mother.

Almost 3,000 people submitted official objections to the council against the scheme and a further 19,000 people signed a petition against it. Those opposing ranged from local residents to anti-Trump protesters.

Councillors had been angered at the housing scheme as the present plan has been scaled down from the ambitious proposals first unveiled a decade ago.

The original plans had been to build a £750m resort with a 450-bed five-star hotel.

Scottish National party group leader Richard Thomson said: "We were promised something transformative in this development.

"I don’t think this is it.”

The company had argued that the global recession in 2008 and oil industry slump in 2014 had hit the regional economy and made it impossible to deliver the original plan.

Residents had raised concerns the increase in population would cause issues on the local roads and overburden schools.

The complex is being built in the village of Balmedie which presently only has 2,500 residents.

The scheme involves 500 luxury detached homes and 50 holiday villas.

Prices start at £295,000 for the cheapest two-bedroom cottage, while the luxury five-bedroom Balmoral has a starting price of £1.3m.

Questions have been raised about how the scheme will be funded.

His golf course has lost money each year since it opened in 2012 and presently loses up to £1m a year.

Resort manager Sarah Malone said it has been financed by the Trump Organization.

“Every stage of this process has been financed by the Trump Organization. We have no loans. We have no mortgages. We have no liens. We have no debt. That is a matter of fact,” she said.

The project is expected to take up to 15 years to complete.

Updated: September 27, 2019 01:33 PM

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