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Still on course

November 13th 2009
As work begins on Donald Trump's £1 billion golf course in Abderdeenshire, angry residents vow to take the council to task over its decision-making process. "I trust Aberdeenshire Council to know its Highland history and to resist giving in to Trump." Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton Three years after The Donald Trump Organization arrived in Aberdeen, work has started on the £1bn golf course at the Menie Estate. The Formartine Committee of Aberdeenshire Council accepted the planning application for the start of grass planting and the erection of site fences. Meanwhile, as work commenced at Menie, residents and supporters of the Tripping Up Trump campaign [see last month's issue] continue to lobby Aberdeenshire council and scrutinize its' decision-making process on the development. In recent weeks the council has been accused of being "too close" to the Trump project. Donald Trump's son, Donald Jr, was present as work began on what his father has said will be "the greatest golf course in history". He reflected on the long planning process, which has become increasingly strained lately: "This has been, according to our lawyers, the most scrutinised masterplan and zoning process in the history of development in Scotland. We have complied with everything. We have more environmentalists on our team than anyone in the history of the world probably." Meanwhile, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws reveal that the council's leading planning officer, Dr Christine Gore, advised lawyers of the Trump Organization that "close liaison" would be needed to control the negative publicity caused by plans to evict local homeowners. Dr Gore's letter concludes that the council would need: "A managed approach to what is inevitably going to be a difficult and emotive reaction." Spinwatch has suggested that Dr Gore's correspondence with Trump's lawyers demonstrates a "conflict of interest". The Glasgow-based organisation, which monitors public relations, has threatened to lodge a complaint with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman if the council fails to hold its own inquiry. Sarah Malone, a spokeswoman for Donald Trump, dismissed the accusations as "mischief-making", whilst a spokeswoman for Aberdeenshire council said early discussions on the issue of Compulsory Purchase Orders were held in private out of respect for the residents. The mounting opposition to the Trump Organization has welcomed the support of Hollywood actress Tilda Swinton. British-born Swinton signed the online petition against the use of CPOs to evict householders and commented, "Surely this kind of industrial bullying has been discredited enough. I trust Aberdeenshire Council to know its Highland history and to resist giving in to this attempt at a 21st-century clearance." Trump responded in typically robust fashion, claiming that he has the support of Sean Connery, in what threatens to turn into a game of Scots Top Trumps. As the issue continues to make headlines, it is hoped that the focus will remain on the homeowners who look set to be evicted. David Milne, one of the affected local residents, has no plans to protest the recent developments on the Menie site. "There was no point," he sighs. "Aberdeenshire Council have done exactly what they were told to do by the Trump Organization. When we do protest, we will do it properly, correctly and legally."

November 2009



Dispersal zone - a reader responds

Camden closures

Sending 'em back

London's homeless dead remembered

New dispersal zone

Tories outline firmer headcount policy

Big Issue sells office

Controlled Drinking Zone approved...

Bob Dylan donates Xmas dinner to UK homeless

Homeless murder suspect detained

RIP, Gary

Street Swags

Miss Homeless Holland

Free gym service

Homelessness on increase in Scotland

Out of the woods

Bang on target

Still on course

Bye bye Right to Buy

Government backs call for more affordable housing

More rights for tenants?

New cash for housing associations

Poverty figures

Changing Lives Award for Edinburgh woman

Veterans booklet

Street Shield 9: Battling a monster!


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484