AMERICAN tycoon Donald Trump was this afternoon in golfing heaven after getting the go-ahead for the “world’s greatest” golf course.
And Trump thanked Evening Express readers for backing his Balmedie plan.
He said: “We are greatly honoured by the positive decision and believe that the people of Scotland will be extremely happy with the final product.
“It will be a tremendous asset and source of pride for both Aberdeenshire and Scotland for many generations.
“I would like to personally thank the thousands of people and organisations who have supported us throughout this process.
“As I have often said, because of the quality of the land we are given to work with, we will build the greatest golf course in the world.”
Donald Trump’s delight was shared across the North-east.
Tom Smith, chairman of Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Forum, said: “Today’s decision could be a turning point for our region.
“The economic impact figures clearly demonstrate that the Trump development could be one of the most significant factors in developing our economy in the medium to long term and reducing our dependency on oil and gas.
“John Swinney has to be congratulated for balancing the wider economic issues involved and making a decision which will promote economic development in the region and project Scotland’s reputation as being open for business around the world.
“This development, which will create jobs and generate new revenue, could not have come at a better time.”
Aberdeenshire Council leader Anne Robertson said: “On behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome this decision, as I truly believe a development of this type will bring significant benefits to the area, particularly in terms of jobs and tourism.
“The decision has been reached following a very thorough planning process that generated a huge amount of interest from groups and individuals – both in support and in objection to the application.
“Before the development can proceed, further applications which contain the full details of all of the elements of the proposal, will have to be submitted to, and approved by, Aberdeenshire Council.”
Aberdeen City Council leader Kate Dean said: “This is the right decision to ensure the continuing prosperity of Aberdeen City and Shire.
“While we are doing all we can to keep our energy industry anchored here, we need to diversify.”
Aberdeen Airport managing director Kevin Brown said: “It’s fantastic news.”
First Minister Alex Salmond, speaking as SNP Gordon MSP, said: “I have been ‘cup tied’ on this issue for so long it is great to be able to finally speak my mind.
“I believe that the economic and social benefits for the North-east of Scotland substantially outweigh any environmental impact, and that this is demonstrated in the evaluation of the three reporters to the public local inquiry.”
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