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550 ‘Trump Homes’ and golf course approved in Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire Council has approved plans for the £150m development of a 550-home Trump Estates scheme in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The council voted today for the planning application to proceed by 30 to 24.

The scheme is the second part of a £750m three-phase project that has been 10 years in the making.

Plans for the development, submitted by Trump International Golf Links Scotland, include two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, with 234 hotel bedrooms and 500 units of mixed private residencies, including units designed to be rented as holiday homes.

The plans also include a sports centre, retail units, equestrian and commercial spaces, and other leisure facilities.

The “Trump Homes” will be sold with golf, leisure and social membership options, in what Trump International calls “a different form of visitor accommodation”.

In original plans drafted a decade ago, the scheme was set to include a hotel, but Trump International has since amended its proposals and switched to 550 smaller units due to an increase in the number of hotels in the area.

At the meeting this morning, Trump International executive vice president Sarah Malone said: “In the past 10 years, the hotel industries have seen an influx of hotel operators coming into the region [of Aberdeenshire].

“The region cannot sustain all of its current hotels. Adding another large-scale traditional hotel into the equation would not only exacerbate the issue, it would be impossible.”

Ms Malone said that Trump International “needs all three aspects of the original masterplan to flow together” and to be built concurrently and said “there will be a phase three and beyond”.

In their deliberations the councillors debated the sustainability of the development, given its remote location and the increase of traffic that 550 new dwellings would bring, as well as the character of the scheme’s ultimate backer, US president Donald Trump.

Heated discussions were triggered by the walkout of councillor Martin Ford, who abstained from taking part in the planning decision due to Mr Trump’s divisive record on issues such as incitement to violence, racism and misogyny.

Councillor Sandy Wallace, who supported the planning application, reminded the meeting that “the nature of the applicant is of no relevance”, while councillor Jim Gifford remarked on recent inflammatory exchanges in parliament and said councillors should be “mindful of what we say and the way we say it”.

The Trump Homes are set to range in price from £295,000 to over £1.3m, located across 1,500 acres of countryside.

On Tuesday, the council voted through another phase of the development: a second 18-hole golf course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, named after Trump’s mother Mary Anne MacLeod.

The MacLeod course will be built to the south and west of the existing course that opened seven years ago.

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