Friday, July 4, 2008

Inquiry closes into Trump's Scottish golf course plans

Inquiry closes into Trump's Scottish golf course plans
LONDON (AFP) - A public inquiry into a refusal to allow Donald Trump to build a luxury golf resort in Scotland ended Friday, with the US property tycoon's lawyer saying it would be a "tragedy" if it was not built"In my submission, this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will not see its likes again," said Colin Boyd in his closing speech to the hearing in the city of Aberdeen, northeast Scotland.

"It would be a tragedy for Scotland if we let it pass by."

Trump, a New Yorker whose mother was a Scot, wants to construct what he calls "the world's best golf course" as part of a one-billion-pound (1.7-billion-euro, 1.9-billion-dollar) complex north of Aberdeen.

But local planners last year rejected the plans, after concerns from environmentalists about its effect on protected sand dunes and wildlife, and opposition from a farmer who refuses to budge from the land at any price.

The Scottish government in Edinburgh, which has powers over planning policy, called in the proposal, setting up the inquiry amid a row about the pros and cons of the project, which Trump says could create at least 1,200 jobs.

Boyd said the developer's "audacious proposal" had the support of the business community and local people, while they had carried out a comprehensive environmental impact study.

Signalling Trump's determination to proceed, he added: "In my experience of my client, the word 'cannot' does not appear in his dictionary."

The inquiry team will report to the Scottish government at a later stage, with a decision due by the end of the year.


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