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Councillor questions if Menie course will ever be constructed

By David Porter

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Following the announcement of planning permission finally being granted for a second golf course at the Menie Estate , Formartine councillor Martin Ford has raised the matter of its actual construction taking place.

Councillor Martin Ford
Councillor Martin Ford

Councillor Ford who opposed the plans for the overall development when it was first brought forward said: “Planning permission is just that, permission to do something, not an obligation or requirement to undertake a development.

“The Trump Organization got planning permission from the Scottish Government in 2008 for an enormous golf resort at Menie, and has applied for and been granted numerous other related permissions.

"But twelve years later there is no golf ‘resort’, no timeshares, no new hotel, in fact very little of what has planning permission has actually been built.

"The golf course that was constructed has lost money every year.

"Future international travel and tourism are likely to be reduced by the Covid epidemic, at least for a time.

"It is clear Mr Trump will have to find money to repay hundreds of millions of dollars of loans starting next year.

"So whether The Trump Organization will want or be able to spend on construction at Menie is highly questionable.

“Nor should anyone attach much credibility to any official Trump statement regarding intentions.

"Plans for going ahead with construction of the mooted Menie resort have been announced and re-announced ever since 2006 and in most cases announcements have come to nothing.

"When Mr Trump was seeking his original planning permission, fourteen years ago, he boasted there would be a 450-bedroom five-star hotel and promised 6000 jobs.

"The hotel isn’t built and the actual number of jobs is between one and two per cent of what Mr Trump predicted.

"Then, after Mr Trump repeatedly said he had all the land he needed, there were the appalling demands for additional land, including local residents’ homes.

“The whole saga is like listening to a Trump speech — a series of irrational and contradictory statements, implausible exaggerations and unlikely predictions.

"Why would anyone believe any of it?”

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