The Trump Organisation’s plans to build 500 new homes at its north-east estate were today cautiously welcomed.
Plans have been lodged for Donald Trump’s north-east golf course to undergo a £150 million expansion, with housing and hotel accommodation being built alongside the greens.
The development – which will be known as The Trump Estate – will also include a residents’ gym, an equestrian centre and space for shops and offices.
The homes, some of which will be mansions selling for “several million pounds”, have been described in planning documents as “the most luxurious in the area”.
What the planned houses could look like
Eric Trump, who leads the Trump Organisation with his brother Don Jr following his father’s election to the White House, said the project has already attracted interest.
Speaking from Trump headquarters in New York, he said: “We own a truly phenomenal property along the coast, and remain fully committed to our long-term vision for the site.
“The timing is now right for us to release the next phase of investment and the significant economic benefits this brings. Initial interest to our plans has been incredible and, subject to detailed planning approval, we are aiming to break ground next year.”
An independent economic assessment has been carried out, which estimates the development could boost the region’s economy by more than £250m.
It is understood the project will create 268 permanent jobs, along with 2,000 in construction while the buildings are built.
The tycoon was given approval to build 2,750 homes and an eight-storey hotel on the 1,500 acres of land in 2008, provided he created the golf course first. Bosses at the estate say the fresh proposal represents phase two of the overall £750m scheme.
However, plans for the eight-storey hotel have been scrapped, with an initial 50 cottages instead being built to board holidaymakers.
The firm said the change has been influenced by market fluctuations following the oil downturn which has hammered the north-east economy.
Resident Edna Booth, who lives in nearby Blackdog, today said: “I think the plans look good and it would be a welcome addition to the region, but only if Trump keeps to his word.
“It looks great on paper but the practicalities may be different.”
Meanwhile, Ellon and District councillior Richard Thomson said: “I am restricted in what I can say ahead of any planning decision. However, I will be very interested to see the detailed plans.
“Much has been promised in the past regarding the planned sequence of development on this site.
“It’s important that this proposal is examined carefully to see how it fits with what has been agreed to previously in that regard.”
The reactions follow after plans were lodged with Aberdeenshire Council for 500 homes, which will be built within the Trump International Golf Links estate at Menie, near Balmedie.
The Trump Organisation said the development has been inspired by Aberdeenshire villages such as Monymusk, and new homeowners will be given “preferential access” to the US President’s golf course.
The 500-home settlement will be rolled out in eight stages over the next three to five years, as bosses gauge which building types are most popular.
There will be two-to-five-bedroom cottages, townhouses and mansions with property prices beginning at £295,000 and going up into the millions.