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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2007, 12:36 GMT
Trump golf complex welcome in NI
By Johnny Caldwell
BBC News

Donald Trump
Rev Coulter says he can't believe Donald Trump was turned down
A Northern Ireland Assembly member has said his constituency would be an ideal alternative location for Donald Trump's planned 1bn golf complex.

North Antrim MLA Rev Robert Coulter's comments come after Aberdeenshire Council rejected the scheme.

US billionaire Trump is now said to be looking out for an alternative site outside Scotland.

"This wasn't going to cost the taxpayer a penny. I can't believe they turned it down," said Rev Coulter of the UUP.

"This area (North Antrim) already has a number of very good golf courses, and as a largely rural constituency has plenty of room for another. It also has a stunning coastline like Aberdeenshire.

"I'd be only too happy to meet with Mr Trump, such a venture would really boost tourism in North Antrim and of course create jobs."

World class

Although not part of North Antrim, the neighbouring constituency of East Londonderry is home to Royal Portrush, considered to be one of the best golf courses in Europe.

A spokeswoman for Mr Trump, who starred in the US version of the hit reality TV show, The Apprentice, said he was "very surprised" by Aberdeenshire Council's decision.

The Giant's Causeway
The Giant's Causeway is found on the North Antrim coast

"We are considering an appeal, and also considering doing something very spectacular in another location. Sadly, it will not be in Scotland,"

Much of the opposition to the 1bn scheme at the Menie Estate was based on the perceived environmental impact of the plans.

The RSPB, for example, said: "The destruction of part of Aberdeenshire's beautiful unspoilt coastline has been recognised as too high a price to pay for this development."

However, Geoff Runcie of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: "The prize of a world-class golf development and related resort appears to have been completely missed by a group of experienced councillors who, it might have reasonably been expected, would have been able to grasp this economic prize."

Champion courses

The Menie Estate
The 1bn scheme was to include two championship golf courses

The Trump International Links scheme was to include two championship golf courses and 1,500 homes.

Mr Trump claimed he needed to build the houses to pay for the development, which he wanted to construct over the next five years at the 1,400 acre site near Balmedie.

Councillors on the Formartine area committee had backed the plans by seven votes to four.

But the development then went to Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure services committee.

SEE ALSO
Trump's 1bn resort plan 'dead'
02 Dec 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump's 1bn golf plan rejected
29 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Call for Trump golf plan inquiry
21 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles

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