21 Oct 2020

Less than a year after the disappointing planning refusal for the Coul Links course near Dornoch, comes news that President Donald Trump has been granted permission to construct a second golf course at his Trump International Scotland development near Aberdeen.

While the Coul Links project was approved by the Highland Council but overturned by the Scottish National Government, the second course at President Trump’s facility had already been approved at national level, and has now been cleared for development by the local Aberdeenshire Council. The course will be known as the MacLeod Course, named in honour of the President’s late mother.

President Trump’s first golf course at Trump International in Scotland opened for play in 2012, and has been ranked by Planet Golf among the Top 50 golf courses of Great Britain and Ireland. The second course will be designed by Englishman Martin Hawtree, who was also responsible for the design of the first course. The greater development includes plans for more than 500 home sites on the Menie Estate, as well as the second course and various shops and restaurants.

According to a report on the BBC website, approval for the second course was granted by Councillors despite objections and concerns from local residents. Those locals blame the existing course for “destroying” the mobile sand dune system at Menie, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

In issuing permission for the Trump organisation to construct a second golf course at Trump International Scotland, the Aberdeenshire Council included 15 conditions on approval - focused chiefly on pollution prevention and the protection of bird habitats and dune land. Despite these conditions on approval, the BBC report that many are unimpressed by the council decision.

From the BBC article:

The construction of the second course was met with disapproval from locals who said it would "severely affect the natural habitat and landscape" and "restrict resident access" on the beach.

One local claimed there had been "little meaningful public consultation" on the matter.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) also objected to the application, saying the water management plan was inadequate and the environmental management plan was not appropriate.

'Highest specifications'

Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Scotland, said: "We continue to remain focused on the long-term vision for our magnificent estate and are moving steadily forward with our infrastructure and development plans for the next phase of construction at our world-class resort.

"Golf, more so now than ever, is the sport of choice for many people, including families, and we are delighted to have the support of Aberdeenshire Council to move forward with our second golf course.

"The MacLeod Course, will be built to the highest specifications and standards to complement our award-winning championship links. The course will be constructed alongside our estate residencies, cottages and country homes that were approved at the end of last year. "

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Courtesy of the golf club

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Scotland, Martin Hawtree, Design News