Donald Trump's Turnberry Golf Resort Housing and Expansion Plans Shot Down by Local Officials

President Donald Trump's loss-making Turnberry golf resort in Scotland suffered another setback this week as local officials proposed a development plan that scuppers the business's hopes to generate revenue by building more accommodation and houses.

The golf resort is embroiled in a conflict of interest controversy after it emerged that U.S. Air Force personnel stopping over to refuel at nearby Prestwick airport routinely stay in the Trump-owned luxury hotel at the expense of the Department of Defense.

South Ayrshire Council has now revealed its proposed "Local Development Plan 2" under which the areas targeted for development by Trump Turnberry will remain protected as prime agricultural land. The plan is under public consultation and local councillors will then vote on it.

"We will protect existing golf courses and will encourage the development and improvement of golf facilities," the plan states. "We will not generally allow development which we consider may negatively affect the status of Turnberry and Royal Troon as venues for the Open Championship."

It also states: "Prime-quality agricultural land is seen as a national limited resource which should be protected from development unless we are satisfied the development can be justified."

A spokeswoman for South Ayrshire Council confirmed to The Scotsman that the land proposed for development by the Trump family was not recommended for release under the plan.

Trump Turnberry did not respond immediately to Newsweek's request for comment.

When the Trump Organization showed its plans to South Ayrshire Council back in 2018, officials were not convinced. The Trump Organization had hoped that the land would be reclassified in the Local Development Plan 2 and suggested they could move swiftly if that happened.

At the time, the council's planning department called the benefits of the Trump Organization's housing and villa plans "unsubstantiated," The Scotsman reported, and that it would result in the loss of prime agricultural land and cause "significant visual impacts."

Those concerns have now come to pass in the proposed plan. If the Trump Organization still hoped to develop the prime agricultural land, which is adjacent to its resort on the Western Scottish coast, it faces a high bar to convincing local planners.

The plan states that development must conform to the local development strategy, be necessary to meet an established need, of a small scale which is directly related to rural business, or for generating renewable energy.

For four years now Trump Turnberry has made losses. In 2017, Golf Recreation Scotland, the parent company of Turnberry, lost £3.383 million ($4.15 million). The previous year it lost £17.62M ($21.64M), in 2015 it lost £8.396M ($10.31M), and in 2014, the year Trump took over, the resort lost £3.603M ($4.43M). Its accounts for 2018 are due shortly.

The relationship between Trump Turnberry, the Department of Defense, and Prestwick airport is under investigation by the House oversight committee.

The Pentagon revealed to the committee that it had spent $185,000 on putting up personnel at Turnberry during their refueling stopovers at nearby Prestwick airport since 2017, up 189 percent on the two years before Trump became president.

Donald Trump golf resort Turnberry Scotland housing
President Donald Trump (C) walks as he plays a round of golf on the Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry, the luxury golf resort he owns in Turnberry, southwest of Glasgow, Scotland, on July 14, 2018. Plans to expand the resort and build housing were rejected. ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump's Turnberry Golf Resort Housing and Expansion Plans Shot Down by Local Officials | World