The boss of Donald Trump’s north-east golf resort has hailed the decision to approve more than 500 homes at its estate.
The proposals for up to 550 houses, golf villas and other community facilities at Balmedie was discussed at a full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council yesterday.
A motion by the leader of Aberdeenshire Council Jim Gifford had asked councillors to approve the plans via a delegated grant.
However, an amendment by councillor Richard Thomson had urged colleagues to refuse the application.
A vote by elected members approved the plans 38-24.
Councillors were told by planning officials the proposal would help diversify the north-east economy and help provide affordable housing.
Speaking after the meeting, Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of Trump International, said: “Today’s decision is fantastic news for the business and the wider region.
“We are extremely pleased with the strong vote of approval from Aberdeenshire Council which will allow us to proceed with our plans for the second phase of development.
“The £150 million investment plans include 500 residential homes, 50 hotel cottages, a sports centre, retail, community and other facilities.
“This news comes just two days after the approval of our second golf course, enabling us to build on the success of our internationally acclaimed championship links and further strengthens our position as a world-leading golf destination.
“It was clear from today’s debate that Aberdeenshire Council recognises the importance of Trump International and the significant investment these new plans represents for the north-east economy.”
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Evening Express newsletter
Councillors had heard about changes being made to original plans that were approved by Scottish ministers in 2008.
It includes a smaller hotel being proposed by the organisation instead of the original 480-bedroom.
Planning permission in principle has been given to the site which will be developed in eight phases.
However, full planning permission has been given to some parts of phase one, known as 1A and 1B.
This includes nearly 80 homes plus a 34-bedroom hotel, six retail units, a gym, fitness centre and town hall.
More than 2,900 objections were submitted to the local authority.
Speaking at the meeting, leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Gifford said: “I do think we need to monitor the effect on Balmedie for any traffic that comes through.
“It would have been great to have what was originally planned but I think what is front of us is a good application.
“It is in our local development plan and lots of the concerns people have had have been answered.
“I’m assured under the discussions we have had at pre-determination meetings and two Formartine area committees that the council should support this application.”
Councillors had been asked to approve the accommodation proposals by planners, though they are described as a “significant departure” from the authority’s development plan.
Since councillors last discussed proposals in March, 19 new documents have been submitted to the local authority.
These include an amended tree survey report, an updated flood risk assessment and outdoor access management plan.
On Tuesday, officials backed the US President’s blueprints for a second golf course, despite concerns from councillors for the environment.