Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 16:11 UK

Timeline: Trump golf application

The Scottish Government has approved plans by US tycoon Donald Trump to build the "world's greatest golf resort" at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

The 1bn plans were rejected by local councillors before being resurrected by the Scottish Government, and the process became embroiled in claims of sleaze, bullying and impropriety.

Here is how the saga unfolded:

MONDAY 3 NOVEMBER, 2008

The Scottish Government announces that Mr Trump's controversial plans for the Aberdeenshire coast have been approved.

Trump's 1bn golf resort approved

WEDNESDAY 15 OCTOBER, 2008

The public local inquiry report is received by Finance Secretary John Swinney, who announces a decision will be made within 28 days.

Trump golf ruling within 28 days

TUESDAY 10 JUNE, 2008

The public inquiry gets under way in Aberdeen and Mr Trump gives evidence.

Trump 1bn golf inquiry tees off

WEDNESDAY 14 MAY, 2008

The Trump Organisation makes changes to the golf resort plan.

Trump amending golf resort plans

Ahead of the public inquiry, Mr Trump's team say the move takes account of the environmental impact on sand dunes.

RSPB Scotland welcomes the change but describes it as a mere "tweak" to the original plans.

THURSDAY 13 MARCH, 2008

The parliament inquiry into the saga says Mr Salmond took a "cavalier" approach to his involvement with the application.

Salmond's Trump action 'cavalier'

The local government committee raised concern that the government decision to call in the plans came after "two five-minute phone calls" - but concludes the decision was competent.

Mr Sorial expresses bitter disappointment about the episode on behalf of the Trump Organisation and brands it a "major distraction".

MONDAY 10 MARCH, 2008

A public inquiry into the golf resort application in Aberdeenshire is setup for June, it emerges.

Start date for Trump golf inquiry

Mr Trump describes the decision as "disappointing" and threatens to seek a different location if the process takes too long.

The Scottish Government says the nature and considerable public interest in the plans means they have to be properly and fully examined.

WEDNESDAY 6 FEBRUARY, 2008

The Trump Organisation brands the sleaze allegations surrounding its plans grossly inappropriate.

Trump team denies sleaze claims

Mr Sorial tells the latest sitting of the parliament inquiry he was extended no special favours and warns the deal could still go sour.

Under sustained questioning from MSPs Mr Sorial says: "Nothing that has been done has been sleazy."

WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY, 2008

Mr Salmond, in evidence to the committee inquiry, warns against making public servants feel as if they cannot do their jobs without fear of recrimination.

Concern over Trump inquiry effect

And he again insists he had always acted within the rules and had never spoken publicly or privately about the merits of the application as first minister.

Mr Salmond says he expressed support for the golf course - with some caveats - at an election hustings, before he was an MSP or a minister.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump describes Mr Salmond as an "amazing man" in a BBC Scotland interview.

Trump praises 'amazing' Salmond

He says ministers did Scotland a great service by calling his application in after it was rejected.

WEDNESDAY 16 JANUARY, 2008

The ministerial decision to call in Donald Trump's golf resort plan was the only way forward, Mr Mackinnon tells the parliament probe into the trump affair.

Trump plans call-in 'practical'

Jim Mackinnon also tells MSPs the costs of an appeal could run to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

He insists he was "under no pressure" from any minister to act in a specific way.

THURSDAY 20 DECEMBER, 2007

Mr Salmond gets his own back on Mr Stephen and his sleaze comments by branding him "unelectable".

Salmond attack on Trump critics

Mr Salmond urges Mr Stephen to apologise to civil servants, after Scotland's top civil servant, Sir John Elvidge, said that all civil servants involved in the application had obeyed the rules.

Mr Stephen, Scotland's former deputy first minister, refuses to be drawn on whether he will say sorry.

WEDNESDAY 19 DECEMBER, 2007

The Scottish Parliament's local government committee decides to hold an inquiry into the plans and will call Mr Salmond as a witness.

Salmond to appear at Trump probe

Opposition parties say the issue of whether there was improper behaviour had to be looked into.

A spokeswoman for Mr Salmond says the first minister is "perfectly relaxed", because ministers and civil servants had conducted themselves correctly.

MONDAY 17 DECEMBER, 2007

Mr Trump warns "malicious and inaccurate" political attacks are threatening his plans.

SNP Trump move 'smells of sleaze'

The Trump Organisation says it is "dismayed" at the political attacks and says the row must be resolved before it causes permanent damage.

Mr Stephen says he wanted to see the Trump development go ahead - but adds there are questions to be asked over whether there has been improper behaviour.

THURSDAY 13 DECEMBER, 2007

In the most outspoken attack on the development, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Nicol Stephen says the Scottish Government's involvement with it "smells of sleaze".

SNP Trump move 'smells of sleaze'

The comments, made in the Scottish Parliament during first minister's questions, came as Aberdeenshire Council confirmed it had a phone call with the government's chief planner when Mr Trump's team was there.

Mr Salmond insists he has followed the rules "to the letter".

WEDNESDAY 12 DECEMBER, 2007

In a move reminiscent of Mr Trump's TV show The Apprentice, Mr Ford is told "you're fired" as his committee chairmanship is removed from him.

Salmond's Trump golf team meeting

Aberdeenshire councillors vote to unseat him as chairman of the infrastructure services committee at an emergency meeting.

Councillors give their overwhelming support for the development.

SUNDAY 9 DECEMBER, 2007

Mr Salmond met Mr Trump's representatives the day before ministers decided to have the final say on his golf resort plans, BBC Scotland learns.

Salmond's Trump golf team meeting

It also emerges the Scottish Government's chief planner, Jim McKinnon, held his own talks with Mr Trump's team.

The government said this was to explain the role of Scottish ministers in planning applications and appeals, while Mr Salmond - who said as first minister he stuck to the rules about making no public statement on the development - was entitled to meet with all sides, as the resort had been proposed for a site in his constituency of Gordon.

WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER, 2007

BBC Scotland learns Mr Ford is facing a vote of no confidence after he used his casting vote to reject the development.

Trump opponent in confidence vote

Mr Ford's vote provokes an angry reaction from local business and tourism leaders, but he says his removal would send out a "dreadful message" about the planning process.

The councillor also claims the Scottish Government's intervention has called into question the integrity of the planning system - and claims Aberdeenshire Council has been the victim of bullying.

TUESDAY 4 DECEMBER, 2007

The Scottish Government makes the unprecedented move to decide whether the golf resort goes ahead, despite the plans being rejected.

Ministers to decide Trump plans

Ministers say the issue required consideration at a national level.

The move is welcomed by both Mr Trump and the leader of Aberdeenshire Council.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's then first minister, Ian Paisley, meets Mr Trump in New York.

Paisley aims to 'Trump' golf club

Mr Trump is considering whether or not to buy a site in County Antrim.

MONDAY 3 DECEMBER, 2007

Mr Trump says he will not appeal against the decision to turn down the plans.

Trump not appealing golf refusal

His representatives say they instead hope Aberdeenshire Council will overturn the refusal decision.

They also reveal they have 30 days to decide whether to move the project to Northern Ireland.

SUNDAY 2 DECEMBER, 2007

Donald Trump's plan to create a 1bn golf resort in Scotland is "dead", according to the man who made the final decision to reject it.

Trump's 1bn resort plan 'dead'

Senior councillor Martin Ford, who used his casting vote to turn down the plan, tells BBC Scotland he is "quite certain" the right decision was made.

He says: "There's no possibility that I can see that we can go back to re-discuss an application which has been dealt with. As far as I understand it, it's dead."

FRIDAY 30 NOVEMBER, 2007

One of the councillors who voted against the golf resort claims she was later assaulted at home.

Trump vote councillor 'assaulted'

Debra Storr says she was verbally abused and pushed.

The Liberal Democrat politician says: "There were so many problems with the application that it was clear it should be turned down."

Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire Council leader Anne Robertson says a special meeting is being called in light of the "overwhelming public response and dismay expressed" at the rejection.

Council in 'urgent' Trump meeting

The meeting will look at possible options for overturning the decision.

THURSDAY 29 NOVEMBER, 2007

Aberdeenshire councillors make the unexpected decision to reject the 1bn resort.

Trump's 1bn golf plan rejected

The plans are thrown out by Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure committee on the chairman's casting vote after a tie.

Mr Trump's head of international development, George Sorial, says the council has failed to represent public opinion, adding he is "not sure" if the decision will be appealed.

TUESDAY 20 NOVEMBER, 2007

The first hurdle in the approval process is cleared after Aberdeenshire councillors give outline planning approval for the development.

Trump golf resort given backing

Mr Trump says he is looking forward to "spending billions of dollars in a very great country".

The decision is welcomed by business representatives on the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, but is condemned by RSPB Scotland.

FRIDAY 19 OCTOBER, 2007

Campaigners fighting to stop the golf resort discuss their concerns with Scotland's new first minister, Alex Salmond.

Trump critics meet first minister

Sustainable Aberdeenshire remains concerned about the impact the project could have on the environmentally-sensitive coastal area.

The group's Mickey Foote says: "We are meeting Alex to ask him to stop Donald before he trumps all over the dunes."

FRIDAY 12 OCTOBER, 2007

Opponents of the development claim the project is more about selling houses than golf.

Trump golf plan 'all about homes'

Sustainable Aberdeenshire makes the allegation as it launches a public leafleting campaign.

Aberdeenshire Council says it has tried to ensure all information in relation to the application is widely available to the public.

MONDAY 8 OCTOBER, 2007

Mr Trump insists his golf resort will improve the environment.

Trump defends golf course plans

Amid continued opposition from green groups, the tycoon flies to Scotland to tell a media conference the project would have cost a lot less if he did not care about the environment.

"It's possible I could lose a great deal of money," says Mr Trump.

MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER, 2007

A group opposed to the 1bn resort is set up.

Trump opposition group to meet

Sustainable Aberdeenshire is made up of existing organisations and concerned residents.

The first meeting of the group comes after Aberdeenshire councillors defer their decision on the matter.

TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER, 2007

Aberdeenshire planning officials recommend that councillors approve the golf resort.

Trump golf plans stay on course

The Trump Organisation says it is "extremely encouraged" and "pleased" by the report and hopes for an "informed, fair and balanced decision".

The council is sent 327 letters supporting the proposals and 105 against, as well as a 28-signature petition objecting to the resort.

FRIDAY 7 SEPTEMBER, 2007

Leading golf course architect Martin Hawtree is appointed to design the golf resort.

Architect chosen for Trump course

Dr Hawtree, whose organisation was involved in work at several Open Championship courses, says the design will be in keeping with the Menie sand dunes environment.

"Martin Hawtree brings a distinct vision and flair to every course he touches," declares Mr Trump.

FRIDAY 17 AUGUST, 2007

Scottish Natural Heritage says it plans to uphold an objection to the development.

Fears remain over Trump golf plan

An initial objection made by the organisation was met by changes to the proposals, but concludes these will not protect the site.

It falls to Aberdeenshire Council to assess the advice.

WEDNESDAY 30 MAY, 2007

Scottish Natural Heritage warns the development could seriously damage a nature site.

Fears raised over Trump golf plan

SNH tells Aberdeenshire Council part of the proposed resort could damage nature conservation and sand dunes.

The Trump Organisation says it is working to reach an environmentally responsible solution.

FRIDAY 30 MARCH, 2007

The full Trump planning application is submitted to Aberdeenshire Council - and could create 6,000 jobs while the development is being built.

Trump's golf submission swings in

But an environmental impact report claims the resort would result in "significant adverse changes" to the area at Balmedie.

Concerns are raised over potential threats to wildlife, as part of the land is designated a national Site of Special Scientific Interest.

MONDAY 27 NOVEMBER, 2006

Mr Trump unveils plans for a 1bn Scottish golf resort - way above earlier estimates for the resort, thought to be about 330m

Trump unveils 1bn golfing plans

Mr Trump says he wants to create the "greatest golf course in the world" at Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

The 1,400-acre development includes championship golf courses, a five-star hotel, golf academy and holiday homes.

WEDNESDAY 24 MAY, 2006

Bird conservation group RSPB Scotland says the golf course plans, and a possible nearby wind farm, could badly harm coastal wildlife.

Fears over Trump's golfing plans

The organisation says it is "extremely concerned" the two large-scale developments on the coast could have the potential to harm the area's internationally important wildlife.

Mr Trump says he is very keen to work with environmental bodies and follow all correct procedures.

SUNDAY 14 MAY, 2006

The then First Minister Jack McConnell faces fresh questions over a meeting with Mr Trump.

Fresh claims over Trump meeting

Scottish Green Party says new documents suggest one meeting was set up to discuss the golf proposals.

Mr McConnell's spokesman again insists nothing inappropriate was discussed.

FRIDAY 28 APRIL, 2006

Mr Trump flies into Scotland to visit the site where he hopes to build his world-beating course.

Trump flies in to see golf venue

It is predicted the development could have the biggest impact on the local economy since the oil boom.

However, Mr Trump warns plans for an offshore wind farm off Aberdeen could be a stumbling block for his dream.

SUNDAY 23 APRIL, 2006

Claims that Mr McConnell breached ministerial rules over dealings with Mr Trump are rejected.

McConnell defends Trump meetings

The first minister's close association with the US billionaire leads to opposition party claims that he may have broken strict rules requiring ministers to remain neutral about planning applications.

Mr McConnell's spokesman says he did not discuss any details.

MONDAY 3 APRIL, 2006

The golf course plans could be threatened by an offshore wind farm, it emerges.

Turbines 'threaten' Trump plans

Mr Trump is said to be unhappy about plans for a wind farm off the coast of Aberdeen which would affect the view.

The Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group aims for a meeting on its plans with the Trump organisation.

FRIDAY 31 MARCH, 2006

Mr Trump finally announces plans to build a new world class golfing centre in Aberdeenshire.

Trump tees up golf centre project

The development could bring 150m to the local economy over the next decade, creating 400 jobs.

The then Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell welcomes the development - but heritage body Scottish Natural Heritage warns the local countryside has to be protected.

FRIDAY 27 JANUARY, 2006

Not for the first time, the project looks to be on shaky ground as a senior aide to Mr Trump says plans for a course in Scotland have run into problems and the company is now looking elsewhere.

Trump golf complex talks 'stall'

Managing partner of Trump Golf Properties, Ashley Cooper, confirms that the project has stalled and Ireland is now a possible location.

Sites at Aberdeenshire's Balmedie and Hazlehead Park had been mooted as possible locations.

THURSDAY 12 JANUARY, 2006

It emerges that property tycoon Donald Trump is in talks over the creation of a major leisure development in Scotland.

Trump 'in talks' over development

The American billionaire, whose mother Mary MacLeod was born in Stornoway in the Western Isles, is keen to expand his business into Europe.

It is thought discussions are taking place between Mr Trump's aides and officials at Aberdeenshire Council.

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