BBC News reports that Aberdeenshire councillors have voted 26 to 10 to unseat Councillor Martin Ford, Scottish Liberal Democrat, as chairman of the infrastructure services committee at an emergency meeting. It was also decided that future planning applications of regional or national significance will go to the full council for a final decision.
Mr Ford reacted afterwards, “I am naturally disappointed it’s ended up like this. It sends out absolutely the wrong message about the integrity of the planning system.”
Councillors gave overwhelming support to the Trump plans, though the decision now rests with the Scottish Government. A total of 29 councillors abstained from voting on Mr Ford’s position as chairman.
Mr Trump’s spokesman George Sorial said the show of support was a “very big step in the right direction” and reflected the views of the people of Aberdeenshire. He denied there was any pressure from the Trump Organisation and he said the pressure had come from the people of Aberdeenshire themselves.
A spokesman for resort opponents, Sustainable Aberdeenshire, said he felt sorry for Mr Ford – adding that the council decisions sent out a very poor message to the world. An RSPB spokesman expressed disappointment at the Aberdeenshire Council decisions – saying the planning decision taken by Mr Ford and the committee was entirely consistent with the adopted local Aberdeenshire environmental plan.
Aberdeenshire Council state that a new chairman of the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee is expected to be appointed at the next meeting of full council on 17th January, 2008.
Aberdeenshire Council www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk