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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 11:47 GMT
Ministers to decide Trump plans
Donald Trump
Mr Trump was disappointed the council rejected the plans
Scottish ministers have stepped in to decide whether Donald Trump's 1bn golf resort goes ahead, after the plans were rejected by the local authority.

The property tycoon's Aberdeenshire proposals were turned down last week by a council committee.

Mr Trump is now said to be considering buying land in Northern Ireland to develop the project.

On Tuesday evening, Ministers in Scotland said the issue required consideration at a national level.

In a separate development, Northern Ireland's First Minister Ian Paisley met with Mr Trump in New York on Tuesday.

Mr Trump is now considering buying land in County Antrim to develop the golf resort after his plans in Aberdeenshire were rejected.

The new move by the Scottish Government, thought to be unprecedented, was welcomed by Mr Trump, as well as Aberdeenshire Council leader Anne Robertson.

If the decision of ministers to call this application in keeps it alive, then we welcome this intervention
Anne Robertson
Aberdeenshire Council leader

Mr Trump said in a statement: "Obviously this is a reaction to the unprecedented support for our Aberdeenshire development that's been received.

"I'm very honoured by this response."

Earlier, The Trump Organisation's head of international development, George Sorial, said the company was not considering appealing the plans, for the Menie Estate near Balmedie.

The proposals were criticised by some environmental groups and local campaigners but, at the same time, received backing from some business figures.

Several offers have been received from a number of landowners in the UK hoping to secure the project after the refusal.

'Economic future'

A Scottish Government statement, issued on Tuesday evening, said: "Ministers recognise that the application raises issues of importance that require consideration at a national level.

"Calling the application in allows ministers the opportunity to give full scrutiny to all aspects of this proposal before reaching a final decision."

Ms Robertson said: "What is important in all this is securing the economic future of the north-east of Scotland.

"The Scottish Government quite rightly feels this application raises issues of such importance that they require scrutiny at a national level.

Balmedie beach area
The plans for the Balmedie area have caused controversy

"If the decision of ministers to call this application in keeps it alive, then we welcome this intervention."

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

Committee chairman Martin Ford, who used his casting vote to turn down the plan, told BBC Scotland at the weekend he was "quite certain" the right decision had been made.

Mr Ford decided to reject the application, rather than defer it, after the decision to grant it had been ruled out earlier in the voting process.

Local MSPs welcomed the government's decision.

"Calling in this application for further scrutiny should result in a better decision than the one we got from Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure committee," said Nationalist Aberdeen North MSP Brian Adam.

Alex Johnstone, the Tory North-East Scotland MSP, added: "This is absolutely the right decision and I can only hope it is not too late. Last week's decision was, quite simply, the wrong one and does not reflect public opinion."

SEE ALSO
Trump considering NI golf complex
04 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland
Trump golf project hits the rough
04 Dec 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump not appealing golf refusal
03 Dec 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump's 1bn resort plan 'dead'
02 Dec 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump golf complex welcome in NI
02 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland
Council pitches for Trump course
30 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles
Trump vote councillor 'assaulted'
30 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles

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