Tens of thousands have signed a petition calling for plans to expand Donald Trump’s Scottish golf course to be halted, saying they threaten “environmental and economic disaster”.
Trump wants to build a second 18-hole course at Trump International Golf Links Scotland, north of Aberdeen, and nearly 39,000 people have signed a petition calling for authorities to stop it, saying it would breach rules on sewage pollution and environmental protection.
Aberdeenshire County Council will meet on August 22 to decide and the petition urges them to heed the objections of Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage by opposing it.
The petition, which is called “Stop Trump from wrecking the Scottish countryside”, is hosted by campaigning website SumOfUs.
“Trump wants to go ahead with his plans... despite the risks to the local environment. Aberdeenshire’s dune systems are one of the last true unspoilt wildernesses in the UK - and when they’re gone, they’ll be gone for good,” the petition says.
“Trump wants to ignore all this to get his way, and he wants it on the cheap - without connecting his expanded resort to water or sewage networks, leaving it to pollute the local environment.
“Trump’s arrogance even led him to claim in a new book that plans had already been accepted ― before the council had even considered them.
“But this is far from decided, and if we put pressure on Aberdeenshire council, we can get these destructive plans shelved.”
Callum Hamilton, a SumOfUs campaigner from Scotland, said: “Donald Trump’s planned expansion of his golf course would be an environmental and economic disaster, and will cause irreparable damage to the beautiful and unspoiled dunes iconic to the local community.
“The Aberdeenshire Council must heed the advice of multiple environmental agencies and reject the proposal. Trump was full of big promises when he proposed the golf course, most of which never materialised.
“Trump has demonstrated time and again that we cannot take him at his word. Donald Trump and his golf course are a bad deal for the people of Aberdeenshire, and this expansion must be stopped immediately.”
Trump’s son Eric, who has taken over the running of the golf courses since his father became president, visited last month to show off his father’s creation.
He told The Aberdeen Press & Journal he had “huge plans” to help the region after it was hit by the fall in gas and oil prices.
He said: “We are blessed with the incredible piece of land and we built something incredible.
“This is phase one and we are where we are right now. We have huge plans for future investment.
“We have a lot of things planned. We have the potential for a second course, we have tremendous opportunities for residential and hospitality that we are able to do.”