Aberdeenshire Green councillor Martin Ford has commented on the announcement that The Trump Organization has withdrawn its planning application to build a second golf course at Menie and has abandoned its scheme to construct a large golf resort at the site.
“This is not a huge surprise, given Mr Trump’s track record elsewhere. For the last few years, the very slow pace of progress on the Menie development, the procrastination and delay, have strongly suggested Mr Trump was seeking an exit strategy – but wanted to be able to blame someone else for his decision not to proceed. His way out has been to blame the Scottish Government.”
Commenting on the suggestion that the proposed wind farm should have been moved or abandoned to appease Mr Trump, Cllr Ford said,
“Mr Trump has been making threats and unreasonable demands from the start. You don’t appease an arrogant, irrational bully. It doesn’t work. They only come back wanting even more.
“Mr Trump’s tendency to change his position and contradict himself, means we cannot be sure that he will not say something quite different next week. But I do think this probably is Mr Trump walking away from continuing work on his development.
“Of course, the Scottish Government should never have stepped in to grant Mr Trump planning permission in the first place. We have lost an important and beautiful natural area that was legally protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Our duty, as I saw it, was to hand this natural heritage over to following generations intact, so they could enjoy it and wonder at and better understand nature.
“Instead, it has become a golf course. The justification for allowing this damage to the environment was the jobs and economic benefit the proposed golf resort would bring.
“While the scale of the economic benefit promised by Mr Trump was clearly ridiculously exaggerated, there is no doubt that, had the resort gone ahead, there would have been some job creation and economic activity as a result. As it is, the north-east has got the worst of all possible worlds. We have lost our irreplaceable, natural, mobile dune system – for negligible economic return.
“Mr Trump should never have been given planning permission.”
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