Donald Trump’s Menie golf course has caused damage to a dune system which is one of Scotland’s most precious wild life habitats, according to Scottish Natural Heritage.
“We’re currently reviewing the Site of Special Scientific Interest boundary of Foveran Links and hope to complete this by the end of December”, a SNH spokesperson told BBC Scotland.
“As expected, there are areas where there has been some permanent habitat loss. There have been other habitat changes where, for example, mobile sand dunes have been stabilised through the planting of marram grass.
“Part of our review will be to assess the significance and scale of this loss and damage.”
Permission for the Trump International Golf Links was granted in 2008 against strong opposition from SNH and other environmental groups. Aberdeenshire Council supported the development because, it said, the economic and social benefits were likely “to outweigh the conflict with national and development plan policies relating to the environment, protected landscapes and new house building”.
The council’s independent economic study had broadly confirmed the benefits cited by the developer, it said.
“Once completed, the development would generate 1,400 net additional jobs locally with £64m spent each year in Aberdeenshire.”
Trump International Golf Links has responded to the news of the review of the links SSI status by saying its environmental approach is “first class”.
Accounts filed by the company show that it has been racking up losses while the number of people it employees has fallen well below the projected level.
A special feature of the Foveran Links was the dynamic nature of the dunes which had been subject to constant change. The complaint is that the dunes have now been stabilised. But in fact nature may yet overcome the Trump organisation’s changes.
It has emerged that research conducted for Scotland’s Dynamic Coast project using Ordnance Survey data has suggested that a number of Scottish golf courses may suffer coastal erosion problems within the next 20 to 30 years. Trump International Golf Links is among them.