Donald Trump wins planning dispute over walls ‘out of Coronation Street’



Donald Trump

US presidential hopeful and business tycoon Donald Trump has won a planning dispute against residents living near his golf course in Aberdeenshire after they argued parts of it were built without permission.

Neighbours pointed to entrance walls as well as a bag drop building erected at Trump International Links course which they said were built without permission.

Neighbours said the features harmed the character of the surrounding area, with one resident saying the granite walls looked like something “out of Coronation Street”.

Mr Trump opened the course at the Menie estate in 2012 after a battle with envirnomental campaigners who opposed its construction as it was being built on protected sand dunes.

The businessman said the resort would create 800 jobs and called the course the greatest in the world.

Aberdeenshire Council have now said Mr Trump can keep the bag drop facility and entrance feature after he made retrospective planning applications.

About ten people sent letters objecting to the plans and calling on the council to refuse them.

Resident Margaret Wallace said: “Trump International Golf Links Scotland (TIGLS) have returned to the idea of walls (of very poor quality), built them, and again, have come in with a retrospective planning application. This shows the applicant’s disregard and disrespect of the planning process.

“The walls have been built with a thin cladding of small, quite regularly sized stone. This is not in keeping with walls in the North East of Scotland. It is more reminiscent of the Duckworth’s house front on Coronation Street!

“This application should be refused as there is a complete disregard for the planning process with the numerous retrospective planning applications and the poor nature of this construction.”

Another objector, David Milne, said: “The bag drop is another building adding to the clutter on the site of unsightly buildings not in the local vernacular on what is a site with special designation, a Site of Interest to Natural Sciences (SINS) without any significant regard for the damage being done to the local environs.

“It is therefore obvious that it would be expedient and in the public interest to refuse this application and have the building removed due to the negative impact on the immediate environment caused by the attitude of the developer and his habit of making retrospective applications to attempt to justify unapproved works conducted on this site.”

But in a written ruling council planners said: “The materials that have been used for the construction of the wall are considered acceptable and of a high quality. The use of granite on the front facade is not uncommon within a countryside location.

“It is noted that the granite has been semi-dressed but the stones are random in size. The overall look of the wall is more organised than a coursed rubble wall would be, however the appearance of the wall is considered acceptable in this location.”

They added: “The new bag drop facility measures approximately 5 metres (width) by 9 metres (depth) with a height of 5.1 metres.

“With regard to scale, whilst larger than previously approved, the building is of a modest size and sits subsidiary to the clubhouse which is considered appropriate. Overall, the building has minimal impact in the coastal location.”

Councillors are due to make a decision on Mr Trump’s proposals for a second golf course on the Menie estate in the coming weeks.