Preparations for Donald Trump’s £1billion golf resort in Aberdeenshire are ‘continuing apace’, according to George Sorial, the development director, and the project is ‘very much on track’, reports The Press and Journal of Aberdeen.
Mr Sorial was in the area for talks with Aberdeenshire chief executive, its director of planning and environmental services and area manager about conditions for detailed planning permission. He described his meetings with the authority as “positive” and he said the organisation has also had meetings with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage over the past few weeks.
Mr Sorial also held meetings with the development team. The Scottish firm Gareth Hoskins Architects will masterplan the resort while Acanthus Architects DF will design the new clubhouse. The golf course architect is Hawtree Limited.
“Work on the project has finally begun,” said Mr Sorial. “The project is very much on track and I am confident that we are going to get the full support from the council.”
“On the work side, we have started to conclude the final phases of geotechnical and hydrology testing, which is required as a condition for detailed planning permission. There’s a lot of activity on the site and it’s a good feeling. We feel that work has finally begun.”
Menie House refurbishment to be complete by spring
Mr Sorial added that the renovation of Menie Park Lodge, which will house the resort’s offices, was now complete. The refurbishment of Menie House will be finished before spring, in time for a visit from Mr Trump and his family, he added.
Menie House, at Balmedie, was formerly used for package holidays centred on country pursuits, before its sale with the estate to the Trump Organisation.
While Mr Trump and his family will have use of the historic property, Menie Park Lodge will be used to house executive suites for the golf development.
The development will include two golf courses, a five-star 450-bedroom hotel, 950 holiday homes and 500 private family homes.
The application was originally rejected by Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, before being called in by the Scottish Government. Finance Secretary John Swinney approved the project last November after a four-week public local inquiry, where the reporters heard evidence from both sides.
Meanwhile the decision by the chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, Martin Ford, to vote against the original application continues to have repercussions. Mr Ford is one of three Liberal Democrat councillors to quit their party’s group, leaving the control of Aberdeenshire Council on a knife-edge.
Mr Ford, along with Paul Johnston and Sam Coull, resigned in protest at their ‘appalling’ treatment by colleagues. Councillor Debra Storr had left the party group in November. Paul Johnston and Debra Storr were among the six councillors who originally voted against the application. The four councillors will now form their own group.
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