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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 09:14 GMT
Call for Trump golf plan inquiry
Donald Trump
Donald Trump said his proposals would boost jobs and tourism

Opponents of US tycoon Donald Trump's plans to build a 1bn golf resort in Aberdeenshire have vowed to take their fight to a public inquiry.

The controversial proposals cleared their first hurdle on Tuesday night when they were granted outline planning approval by Aberdeenshire councillors.

Mr Trump described the decision as a "tremendous victory".

Opponents said they would continue their fight to block the development at the Menie Estate.

The proposals involve two championship golf courses, 950 holiday homes, 36 golf villas and 500 private homes.

Those behind the plans said they would bring thousands of jobs and a huge economic boost for the north east.

The issues here are far too important to be decided at a local level
Mickey Foote
Sustainable Aberdeenshire

However, campaigners have warned about the impact on an environmentally sensitive site.

More than 100 people packed into Balmedie Primary School's gymnasium to see councillors on the Formartine Area Committee discuss the application.

After two-and-a-half hours of debate they voted by seven to four in favour of the plans.

The application will now be considered by Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure services committee next week. It may also be examined by Scottish ministers.

The Menie Estate
Opponents have fears about the environmental impact of the plans

Mickey Foote, of campaign group Sustainable Aberdeenshire, said he felt "let down" by the councillors.

He said: "This is not the end. We will take this all the way to a public inquiry.

"The issues here are far too important to be decided at a local level."

The Scottish Wildlife Trust, which also opposed the resort plans, said its advice had been ignored.

National planning co-ordinator Paul Gallagher said: "The developers could have sited the proposal away from the designated and sensitive dune habitat but they failed to consider how the environmental impact could be diminished.

"If the plan proceeds in its current form, this development will destroy one of the top five dune habitats in the whole of Britain."

It's very important that I do something that's environmentally sensitive and that really is very expensive
Donald Trump

He urged opponents to write to local MSPs and the Scottish Government to voice their concerns.

However, the committee's decision was welcomed by Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, which said the development would bring a range of new jobs to the area.

Mr Trump said would create jobs and bring in tourism.

He also explained why the development needed to include a housing element.

"It's very important that I do something that's environmentally sensitive and that really is very expensive," he said.

"And for us to do the job the way everybody wants it, that seemed to be the minimal programme that we needed in order to pay for all of this.

"When you take care of the land the way we are going to take care of the land you need some income coming in on the other side."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Opponents to the plan explain their next steps



SEE ALSO
Trump golf resort given backing
20 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump critics hold beach protest
17 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump critics meet first minister
19 Oct 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump golf plan 'all about homes'
12 Oct 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump defends golf course plans
08 Oct 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump golf meeting attracts 200
28 Sep 07 |  North East/N Isles

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