Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Birth of a Golf Course...con't

So, what are the additional perks the Scottish government managed to convince Donald Trump to donate to the land of his heritage for the privilege of building over one-tenth of a site of special scientific interest under EU legislation?

Trump has agreed to environmental checks and controls giving Aberdeenshire council and the Scottish government’s environment agency, Scottish Natural Heritage, oversight to ensure the remaining wildlife is protected.

Trump will also be required to build a 225-pupil primary school, shops, 98 low-cost houses and 50 starter homes (on land provided free by the council) in return for the 500-home estate, chalets and timeshares that will fund the development.

Trump has been told he can only begin building the high-rise timeshare blocks in stages, after some of the affordable homes are finished. He must also ensure, under Scotland's strict “right to roam” laws - rules Trump was unaware of until questioned by the Ramblers Association at the planning inquiry - that visitors still have unimpeded access to the dunes.

Now…who is that man from the previous blog? That man is Michael Forbes. He and his wife, Sheila, own the land next to the Menie Estate. Their home is situated at Mill of Menie and has become the proverbial thorn in Trump’s side.

Forbes, a salmon fisherman and quarryman, shot to global fame last October after Trump branded his land "disgusting".

Trump sees the Forbes’s land as a ramshackle blot on the landscape and an eyesore next to his resort: 23 acres of rambling farm buildings, rusty tractors and other farm implements left lying about. To Michael and Sheila Forbes, it's home.

Trump has offered them as much as £450,000 ($663,344.00); but, despite the offer and the thought of having to live in a construction zone for the next 10 years, Michael and Sheila are refusing to sell.

"They reckon the construction will last 10 years, but I'll never, ever sell to that loudmouth bully," Forbes said. Forbes is very much like Trump in that Forbes speaks his mind as well.

You might have begun to sense that tensions have risen and lines have been drawn in sand. Well, right you would be. And those Scots, (bless their stubborn little hearts) are not known for backing down.

What may have been the final divide between the two sides could have been a comment Trump made to Forbes. He went so far as to claim that Forbes’s land was in “total disrepair…rusty tractors, rusty oil cans – I (Trump) actually asked him (Forbes), Are you doing this on purpose to try and make it look bad, so I have to pay some more money?”

Michael took umbrage with this kind of talk and is determined never to sell his land to Trump, "As I said before, I would rather give my land away to travelling people than sell to Trump, if it comes to that."

The Scottish ministers’ decision to approve Trump's resort made him feel "sick", he added. Once a loyal Scottish National party voter, no more. "I used to be proud to be a Scotsman; but, I'm going to take both of my kilts out and burn them after this," he said.

Forbes made it clear that Trump would just have to build around him now. "His biggest mistake was having a rant about me and calling me names on the TV," he said.

Michael Forbes: If you ever need anything and I can supply it, leave me a comment.

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