Sure, Halloween might be over, but that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from working some black magic on his previously dead Scottish golf course plans. Back in November of last year, Trump was given the boot after the Aberdeenshire council voted against him — citing protection of the remarkable coastal sand dunes and the habitat of rare birds as more important.
The Scottish government, however, saw a little too much economic benefit in the $2.1 billion dollar project to pass up and stepped in to intervene. According to PlanetSave, the government defends the decision by pointing to the hundreds of jobs the 2,000-acre facility will create amid a damaged economy. The facility is expected to generate $100 million annually for the Aberdeenshire community.
The decision has, not surprisingly, upset environmentalists and scientists alike. “The crazy thing is that there could easily have been both golf and environmental protection at Menie,” said Jonny Hughes, head of policy at the Scottish Wildlife Trust. “This decision will mean needless destruction to a unique and nationally important site.”
Damn — a year ago I championed a victory of environment over money. Sadly, that battle has now been lost and two championship golf courses, an eight-storey five-star hotel, a golf academy, nearly 1,000 holiday homes and 500 private houses will be built in a protected area. The best we can hope for from this situation is that Trumps adopts the same low-impact, green building strategies that he’s put to work at his “Trump on the Ocean” on Long Island.
Yea, it’s a long shot.