The spectacular dunes system Donald Trump picked by for his golf resort in Aberdeenshire, Scotland has been “partially destroyed” as a result of the course’s construction, newly obtained documents have revealed. Many locals say Trump failed to honour promises he made in 2008 to protect the site as much as possible when he encouraged a planning inquiry to ignore the dunes’ special scientific interest (SSSI) status, and now that special status may be revoked.
Monitoring reports released by the government watchdog, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) acknowledges that serious damage has been done to the dunes at Foveran Links, north of Aberdeen, since the course opened in 2012. As a result, the future of Foveran’s SSSI status – which was given because of its unusual shifting sands and diverse plant life – is unclear.
One of the reports from the Scottish Natural Heritage states, “Construction of the new golf course involved earthworks, planting of trees, greens and fairways, drainage, irrigation and grass planting. This has affected the natural morphology of the dunes and interfered with natural processes. Most of its important geomorphological features have been lost or reduced to fragments. Nearby marine terraces have also been reduced to fragments.”
The release of documents was a result of years of pressure and were finally obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Normally a SSSI conservation status would have prevented any significant development to land but permission was granted on the basis that the potential economic benefit would outweigh environmental harm. The original plan was attractive since Trump pledged to create up to 6,000 jobs for a five-star hotel with 450 room,s a sports complex, timeshare flats, two golf courses and housing estates. Currently there is only an 18-hole golf course (open seven months a year), practice range, small clubhouse and a boutique hotel with 16 rooms – a far cry from his grandiose promise.
He also claimed that, when completed, the land would be “environmentally enhanced and better than it was before”. The Trump Organization said last year its environmental approach to the course had been “first class”.
That must be the same “first class” treatment Trump gives everything. Yet another example of ruins in his wake, all for the benefit of profits and his ego.
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