US real estate magnate Donald Trump was given the go-ahead by the Scottish government this week to build a £1 billion ($1.6 billion; $1.2 billion) golfing complex in Scotland.
The Balmedie, Aberdeenshire project, by Trump International Golf Links Scotland, is to include two championship golf courses, a 450-room hotel, 950 holiday apartments, as well as 36 golf villas, and 500 for-sale homes.
The development had been rejected by the local council, Aberdeenshire, last November owing to environmental concerns. However the ruling was overturned this week after the Scottish government found the development “raised issues of importance that required consideration at a national level.”
Trump told the Financial Times Monday he hoped to start development of the project in the early to middle of 2009. “Because of the quality of the land we are given to work with, we will build the greatest golf course in the world,” he said. The development would be fully owned by Trump.
Scottish finance secretary John Swinney said the government’s decision was based on the planned project’s “significant” economic and social benefits. The decision was made following a public inquiry recommending outline planning permission for the project be granted.