US billionaire Donald Trump has flown to Scotland to finalise plans to build the “world’s greatest golf course”. However a group of local protestors has bought a parcel of land that they argue will thwart the £1 billion seaside development.
Trump’s proposal is to transform coastal land on the Menie estate near Aberdeen into two 18-hole championship golf courses, a luxury hotel and timeshare flats.
A number of families whose properties are on the land are insistent that they shall not be moved. They have formed a protest group, Tripping Up Trump, that has bought some of the land belonging to Michael Forbes, one of the residents refusing to sell.
The acre of land, which the group dub “The Bunker”, is in the heartland of the planned Trump golf resort, and the claim the development cannot proceed in its current form without access to it.
The group said that by putting the names of hundreds of protesters on the title deeds, it would create a massive legal headache for the Trump Organisation and Aberdeenshire Council if they were to pursue a compulsory purchase order for the site.
The master plan for the resort will be considered by Aberdeenshire Council later this year.
The American tycoon, and his son Donald Trump Jnr, arrived at Aberdeen Airport this morning to speak to the media. However he did not say whether he would be talking with the protestors.
There was £50,000 worth of vandalism carried out at the site this year. Earlier this month, one of Trump’s senior executives quit the project after becoming embroiled in a public row with a protester.
In return for vacating the land, he has made residents an offer they have steadfastly refused:
Trump has made residents an offer which includes purchase of their property at 15 percent above current market value, the opportunity to buy a house on the golf complex at cost price, lifetime membership of the golf resort. However they have all refused.
He has not said he will pursue compulsory purchase orders against the residents in his way. But without an agreement, forcibly removing them from the land will become an increasing likelihood.