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Environmental groups criticise approval of Trump’s new Aberdeenshire golf course

Aberdeen Student Climate Network says golf course ‘unsustainable’ to environment

By: Rosie Mccaffrey

Donald Trump at the Scottish Parliament - Photograph: Ric Lander, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Donald Trump’s plans for a new golf course in Aberdeenshire have been approved. The permission to build the MacLeod course, granted last week by local councillors, is subject to 15 conditions which largely focus on the environmental impact.

However, many environmentalists argue that these conditions are not enough.

The course will expand the Menie resort, which has already faced widespread criticism for damaging eco-systems and eroding the dune system, which is now expected to lose its protected status.

Residents told the BBC that the plans would "severely affect the natural habitat and landscape". The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) have said that the conditions are not enough to protect the area.

The Aberdeen Student Climate Network (ASCN) said the move would “develop on an already existing and unsustainable infrastructure. This is meant both economically, socially and environmentally.” Adding: “Notably, it was assessed as ‘poor‘ by Sepa due to its sewage pollution in 2017.”

“Additionally, the existing course has virtually destroyed the dune system in the area, causing permanent habitat loss to a “Site of Special Scientific Interest” (SSSI), to the point of putting this important environmental habitat at risk of losing its ‘nationally-important’ protection status.”

The existing course is not only an environmental issue, but it has been also been consistently losing around £1 million per year for that last eight years since it opened in 2012. Furthermore, the course is contentious with locals, after failing to provide the promised 6,000 jobs to the area while in fact only employing 77 people in 2019.

Aberdeen City Council did not wish to comment but did say that the plans are publicly available on their website.

The MacLeod course is named after Trump’s mother who was born on Lewis but later emigrated to New York.


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