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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 18:03 GMT
Trump team refuse inquiry invite
Donald Trump swinging a golf club
Mr Trump's plans were turned down by Aberdeenshire Council
Donald Trump's representatives have refused to give evidence to a Holyrood committee investigating his plan for a 1bn golf resort in Aberdeenshire.

Committee members - who have already questioned First Minister Alex Salmond - had hoped Mr Trump's representatives would also attend a hearing.

But it has now been confirmed that they have turned down an invitation to give evidence about the Menie Estate plans.

Committee members expressed disappointment about the decision.

Committee convener Duncan McNeil said that Mr Trump's representatives claimed to have considered the invitation carefully before deciding they had nothing further to add.

'Disappointing and surprising'

The Labour MSP added: "It's a disappointing and surprising decision. It is surprising because they have been very vocal in public about this development.

"I think it is important for the committee to hear their evidence. Much of the inquiry so far has looked at the relationship between the various parties involved, and the developers are central to that."

The government committee is looking into the handling of the development plans - featuring two golf courses, a hotel and housing - which were turned down by Aberdeenshire Council.

The Scottish Government has called in the application, giving ministers the final say.

Much of the inquiry so far has looked at the relationship between the various parties involved, and the developers are central to that
Duncan McNeil
Committee Convenor

The Trump organisation has said it will not appeal against the decision, however Mr Trump described Aberdeenshire Council's ruling as "a little road block".

Mr McNeil said MSPs on his committee wanted to know why the company had ruled out appealing against the decision to refuse planning permission.

"We would have been very interested as to why they gave up their right to appeal," he said.

He also claimed the committee would be taking legal advice about powers to compel witnesses to attend, although it is unlikely that any action would be taken.



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