Thu, 19 Sep 2019

London - Residents living near a golf course built by US President Donald Trump in Scotland are demanding an apology from their local council for allowing the venture to go ahead, a meeting will hear later Thursday.

"The council supported the destruction of an irreplaceable nature conservation site on the basis of unlikely and exaggerated promises of jobs and investment," the petition states. "We deserve an apology."

"Lessons will have to be learnt from this sad episode," it adds.

The petition submitted to Aberdeenshire Council, the local authority, demands an "apology for past governance failure" in allowing the golf course to be constructed.

The council must agree whether to consider the petition at its meeting on Thursday, and if it does, could order a further report on the subject.

Trump, whose mother was from Scotland, opened the links on land near Aberdeen in 2012 after promising to create 6,000 jobs and invest Pound 1 billion.

The Trump Organisation recently lodged proposals to expand the site, called the Menie Estate, with new homes, shops, offices and food outlets.

The application is due to be considered later this year.

So far the billionaire president's company has only spent around 100 million on the course - known as Trump International Golf Links - and employed around 650 temporary and permanent staff.

Trump, who is set to visit Britain on a state visit on June 3-5, bought the 1,400 acres (567 hectares) of land in northeast Scotland in 2006 and pledged to build "the world's best golf course".

Local councillors actually rejected the plan in 2008 amid fierce opposition from conservationists and neighbouring residents.

But the Scottish National Party government in power in Edinburgh at the time overturned their decision.

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