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Trump to Start Work on Scotland Resort


Despite considerable controversy, Donald Trump will be breaking ground July 1 on his new $1.1 billion golf resort in northeast Scotland.

The New York-based developer may still face delays in starting work on the hotel and vacation homes that will help support the project; Trump also hasn't resolved efforts to buy some properties adjoining his 1,400-acre Menie Estate, north of Aberdeen.

Among the landowners who haven't sold their properties to Trump are Molly Forbes and David Milne. The two have protested the possible use of compulsory purchase orders to force them to move out. Milne was offered 235,000 pounds for his four-bedroom house.

"We are not about to build a hotel that looks down on a slum," George Sorial, Trump's executive in charge of the project, told Bloomberg News. "Someone has to step up and make a decision. It is a question for the Scottish government and Aberdeenshire Council."

Trump started plans for the 36-hole resort in 2005. In addition to the golf courses, the project involves 500 homes and 950 short-term rental apartments.

On June 29, Aberdeenshire Council's local planning committee approved the detailed plans for the courses and associated facilities, including a driving range and putting green. The application passed by a vote of 8-1, the municipality posted on its website. The committee received 10 written objections, Sorial said.

"It was a tremendous feeling of victory, not only for us but also for the people of northeast Scotland who have supported us," he added.

Construction is scheduled to take 18 months and the first course will probably open in mid-2012, Sorial said. Trump isn't likely to start work on the hotel before the first course is completed. He still needs approval for the hotel as well as the houses and apartments.

Trump has also faced environmental hurdles. Part of the golf course is being built atop sand dunes in a nature reserve that government environmental advisers said should be protected. Trump has agreed to plant marram grass to keep the dunes from migrating onto the course.