News World Scots petition against second Trump course

Scots petition against second Trump course

Donald Trump golf course
A petition has been signed by 31,000 people objecting to the Trump Organisation's plan to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire. Photo: Getty
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Campaigners have gathered a petition signed by 31,000 people opposed to the Trump Organisation’s plans for a second golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Proposals were submitted by the Trump Organisation for a second 18-hole course at Balmedie in 2015, three years after the first one opened.

Members of campaign organisation 38 Degrees presented the petition to Isobel Davidson, chair of Aberdeenshire’s Formartine Area Committee in Ellon on Tuesday.

Campaigners said a recent 38 Degrees/Survation poll found that of those who expressed an opinion, 68 per cent said the course’s planning application should be rejected by Aberdeenshire Council.

When “don’t knows” are included in the figures, 53 per cent said they are opposed to the course, 25 per cent supported it and 22 per cent don’t know.

Stewart Kirkpatrick, head of Scotland for 38 Degrees, said: “Today’s hand-in, the huge petition and our crowd-funded opinion polling are clear evidence of strong public opposition to the Trump Organisation’s plans for a new course.

“After the first course failed to deliver the promised investment and jobs bonanza, Scots now feel the new plan just won’t bring economic benefits to the area. They don’t think the first course should have gone ahead and they certainly don’t feel this one should.

“Does Aberdeenshire Council really want to give a vote of confidence to this man?”

The online poll of 1029 people in Scotland was undertaken by Survation on behalf of 38 Degrees in January.

Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Golf Links, Scotland, said: “The figures presented are nonsense. The argument to build world-class golf and leisure facilities at Menie Estate was fought and won 10 years ago, which included a second golf course.

“Planning consent has already been granted and the project continues to attract great support.”

“A number of independent reports have concluded that Trump’s world-class golf course has ‘brought significant economic benefits to the tourism industry and put Aberdeenshire on the world map’.”

Aberdeenshire councillors have still to make a decision on the planning application.