Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Homeowners vow to fight Trump resort in the courts
Highland Clearences by a rude loud-mouthed American.
Published Date: 02 September 2009
By FRANK URQUHART
FURIOUS property owners have vowed to take their fight to the courts to prevent their homes being seized to pave the way for Donald Trump's £1 billion golf resort in Aberdeenshire.
Four homeowners living on the fringe of the Menie Estate have been left facing the prospect of compulsory purchase orders being used to buy their houses after a decision by Aberdeenshire councillors to include their land in a revised masterplan of the huge Trump development near Balmedie. They now plan to unite to challenge the controversial decision in the Court of Session.
David Milne, one of the home owners, told members of the Formartine area committee at a meeting in Ellon that the Trump Organisation planned to bulldoze his house – a former Coastguard station – and replace it with open grassland. "I do not see the benefit to the community and the country as whole of that manoeuvre," he said.
The committee, however, voted by nine votes to two in favour of granting the Trump Organisation outline planning permission for four pieces of privately owned land on the edge of the Menie Estate and a small parcel of land owned by Aberdeenshire Council as part of the overall Trump scheme.
As he left the meeting, Mr Milne, who has lived at Hermit Cottage for 17 years, said: "My house is not for sale.
"My intention, at the end of the day, is to leave there horizontally in a box.
"We are going to challenge this decision in court – and it is likely to be on the basis of all four households."
He said the committee's decision to approve outline applications for the parcels of land was unlawful, as they had not been the subject of separate environmental impact assessments.
Mr Milne added: "We will take professional legal advice to see how soon we can raise a motion in the courts to have these decisions overturned, because they are not legally valid."
But the property tycoon's son, Donald Trump Jnr, defended the decision to include the five pieces of land in the developing masterplan and hailed the councillors' vote as a "very important decision going forward". He said the areas of land were "critical" to the detailed proposals being developed by Gareth Hoskins,one of Scotland's leading architects.
George Sorial, the executive in charge of the Menie development, insisted negotiations would continue to secure the properties without the need for compulsory purchase order powers. He said: "If we can resolve this amicably and fairly, that's what we intend on doing." He said compulsory purchase was a decision for the council and the Scottish Government.
Angry farmer shouts abuse at Trump son
DONALD Trump jnr and right-hand man George Sorial made an unexpected visit to Michael Forbes's home yesterday in an attempt to speak to the defiant farmer.
After an anxious wait at the door, the Americans were chased off by Forbes, who unleashed a torrent of abuse at them. As they left, Mr Sorial commented: "This is what we have to deal with."
Speaking from his home at Mill of Menie, Mr Forbes said he was not surprised by the outcome of yesterday's hearing. He said: "There was no point of going because I knew what was going to happen. It's a vengeance thing now. It's become personal to Trump I think – he wants everybody who went against him all out."
COMPULSORY PURCHASE ORDERS 'THE LAST RESORT'
THE decision was taken on planning grounds, setting aside the question of land ownership.
The Trump Organisation wants to negotiate agreements with the four homeowners and insists an application for Aberdeenshire Council to use compulsory purchase order powers would be the last resort. Councillor Martin Ford has tabled a motion for the council meeting on 1 October, opposing the use of CPOs to "force Aberdeenshire residents from their own homes on or adjacent to the Menie estate".
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: "We would expect further discussions with the Trump Organisation to discuss progress made before any decision would be taken to put the issue (of CPOs] to full council."
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