Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Sunday, 2 December 2007

Trump's £1bn resort plan 'dead'

Donald Trump swinging a golf club
Mr Trump has the option of appealing against the decision

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.

The US billionaire wanted to build a golf complex and housing development at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

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

Mr Trump has the right to appeal against the decision.

He could also bring new plans forward.

The controversial project had been given outline planning approval, but fell when it came before Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure committee.

Martin Ford
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
Martin Ford
Aberdeenshire councillor

Mr Ford, the committee's chairman, used his casting vote to reject the application, rather than defer it, after the decision to grant it had been ruled out earlier in the voting process.

A special meeting of Aberdeenshire Council has been called to consider possible options for overturning the decision.

But Mr Ford, a Liberal Democrat councillor, told BBC Scotland's Politics Show that there was no longer a "live" application to consider.

He said: "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."

A clear majority of the committee had decided that the application as it stood was unacceptable, he said.

He added: "It was unacceptable for quite a lot of significant reasons.

"It broke a whole raft of planning policies in relation to environmental protection, housing in the countryside and it had wider implications in terms of the council's whole approach to biodiversity conservation and the environment."

'Not going'

Brian Adam, the Nationalist MSP for Aberdeen North, said he was appalled by the decision, and questioned Mr Ford's reasoning behind it.

"It is an utterly bizarre decision," he told BBC Scotland.

Mr Adam added: "People with a track record of opposing development, chairing planning decisions - not necessarily the best of choices.

"I think Councillor Ford really ought to consider his position."

Mr Ford insisted that the committee was not against inward investment, adding: "I have no intention of going and I don't see any reason why I should."


SEE ALSO
Trump golf complex welcome in NI
02 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland
Council pitches for Trump course
30 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Council in 'urgent' Trump meeting
30 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump vote councillor 'assaulted'
30 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump's £1bn golf plan rejected
29 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles

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