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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 16:54 GMT
Trump opponent in confidence vote
Martin Ford [Pic: Aberdeenshire Council]
Martin Ford's casting vote saw the Trump plans rejected
The councillor whose casting vote led to Donald Trump's 1bn golf resort being rejected is facing a motion of no confidence, BBC Scotland has learned.

Martin Ford is chairman of Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure services committee, which narrowly rejected the plans last week.

His vote led to an angry reaction from many business and tourism leaders.

Councillor Ford said that if he were to go it would send out a "dreadful message" about the planning process.

Independent councillor John Cox said Mr Ford's position as chair of the powerful committee was no longer tenable.

Mr Ford told BBC Scotland: "For me to go would send a terrible message that some applicants have to get their planning permission. That's a dreadful message. I will not be resigning."

The Scottish Government has "called in" the golf resort application.

MSPs on the economy and tourism committee praised the decision to call in the application.

'Been bullied'

They said it was a project of huge national importance for Scotland and should be decided by ministers, not a local council.

Mr Ford said the intervention of the Scottish Government called into question the integrity of the planning system and was a "most unusual route" which raised serious concerns.

He said: "There is no doubt in my mind that the council has been bullied over the last few days and that has caused us immense difficulties."

Mr Trump responded to the government's decision in a statement, saying: "Obviously this is a reaction to the unprecedented support for our Aberdeenshire development that's been received. I'm very honoured by this response."

Donald Trump
Mr Trump was disappointed the council rejected the plans

A Scottish Government spokesman said the speed of the decision would depend on how the application was dealt with.

A Reporter will first have to gather all the relevant information. If either the council or applicant ask for a public inquiry, there would have to be one. The Reporter could still ask for one, even without a request.

If there is no public inquiry, the application could be dealt with either by a shorter hearing process, or through written submissions. Either way, anyone who wants to contribute would have the chance.

Even if the application is dealt with by written submissions, a decision would be expected to take months rather than weeks because of the complexity of the issues.

Northern Ireland's First Minister Ian Paisley met 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 Aberdeenshire proposals were criticised by some environmental groups and local campaigners but also received backing from some business figures.

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30 Nov 07 |  North East/N Isles


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