Trump International Plans for Second Scottish Golf Course Approved by Councilors

Councilors have approved plans for a second golf course at President Donald Trump's Scottish resort, it has been reported.

The MacLeod course, named after the president's Scotland-born mother Mary Anne MacLeod, and due to be built to the south and west of the resort's existing course in Menie, was approved by eight votes to four Tuesday morning, according to BBC News.

Plans for the 18-hole course were green-lit by councilors on the Formartine area committee at a meeting in the nearby town of Ellon.

President Trump's original golf course at Menie opened to the public in 2012, with the planning application for the second course received in September 2015, according to filings on the Aberdeenshire Council website.

The approval of the MacLeod course comes ahead of a Aberdeenshire Council meeting set for Thursday, where the authority will discuss separate proposals for a housing development on the Menie Estate branded The Trump Estate.

The £150 million plans involve the building of 500 residential homes, 50 cottages and other amenities, including retail and commercial spaces.

Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International, Scotland said in a statement that the company was "very pleased" with the approval of the MacLeod course plans, adding: "Today the majority of Councilors supported the application and acknowledged the significant economic benefits our property brings to the region, particularly given the challenges the North East economy has faced in recent years.

"We look forward to the full council meeting on Thursday which will determine the £150m investment plans we have put forward."

The Formartine area committee received 18 "valid representations" relating to the MacLeod course plans, with all of those objecting to the proposed development.

Objection letters received by the committee raised several issues, with worries about the course's impact on the local environment dominating.

Councilor Isobel Davidson, the chair of the Formartine area committee, told Newsweek she did not object to the idea of the second golf course, but "the position of the proposal is on a very sensitive area of land. It's not designated as an SSSI (site of special scientific interest) or anything, but its quality as a habitat is as good as an SSSI."

Davidson also said: "Nowadays we are so much aware of our special environmental areas and that we really need to protect them, more than we ever had before."

The environmental conservation group Scottish Natural Heritage announced it was starting a three-month analysis of sand dunes on the Trump International, Scotland golf course in June after it concluded they had been "partially destroyed."

SNH also suggested the sand dunes may lose their SSSI status in a move Trump International called a "stitch-up."

The SNH's director of people and nature Sally Thomas said in a press release there was "no longer a reason to protect the dunes at Menie as they do not include enough of the special, natural features for which they were designated."