Donald Trump’s controversial golf, hotel and housing development is currently being constructed at Menie in Aberdeenshire. Ramblers Scotland originally objected to this planning application on the grounds of the landscape impact and the way it would affect public access through the sand dunes. We continue to monitor events on the estate during its construction phase.
Walkers should still be able to take access over the majority of the site as long as they avoid the parts where the actual construction work is ongoing. This should normally be fenced off for health and safety reasons, but will be restricted to minimal areas of land. We've heard of a number of issues relating to obstructions or intimidation of members of the public who are walking on the site. Any such incidents should be reported to us on firstname.lastname@example.org and to the Aberdeenshire Council access officer. Contact details on the SNH website.
The story began in 2007 when US property tycoon Donald Trump applied to build a huge golf, hotel and housing development around 10 miles north of Aberdeen. The development would comprise two golf courses, a 450-bedroom hotel, 500 houses, 950 holiday apartments, 36 golf villas, a driving range, conference centre and accommodation for 400 staff. The most contentious aspect of this proposal was that it would affect a Site of Special Scientific Interest and lie within an area designated as Undeveloped Coast, and partly within an Area of Landscape Significance.
Whilst not opposed in principle to the development of a new golf course in this area, we objected to the application on various grounds, including the threat to recreational access and the landscape impacts of a development on such a massive scale in an area of wild land. Unfortunately many local and national politicians were enthusiastic supporters of the scheme. All efforts by environmental organisations to persuade Mr Trump to modify his plans to take account of the environmental constraints failed.
The ensuing public inquiry in 2008 gave us the opportunity to raise the question of whether our coastline as a whole is adequately protected. Many other European countries have a designated coastal protection zone where there is a presumption against such new developments. By granting permission for Mr Trump’s plans, the government highlighted the threat to our coastal environment from new development. We continue to campaign to protect all of Scotland’s coastline for us to access and enjoy.