Crunch forces Trump to cancel holiday-home plan

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The Independent Online

Donald Trump has shelved plans to build hundreds of homes at his proposed golf resort in Aberdeen because of the slowdown in the property market. The US developer's lawyer George Sorial said: "The homes could take several years. We're not going to build anything until it feels right."

Mr Trump's plans, which include two golf courses, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses, were rejected by an Aberdeenshire Council committee last year before being called in by the Scottish Government and approved in November.

Mr Sorial said work on a golf course at Balmedie was continuing, but added: "We can't help but acknowledge the slowdown in the market. We have to sell [the homes], so we're not going to build anything until it feels right. Whenever we have a cycle like this, a bad real estate market is followed by a period of rapid, aggressive growth. There is, and will be, a demand for homes."

The plans faced strong opposition from environmental groups such as Scottish Natural Heritage and local campaigners because part of the golf course will be on protected dunes.

The Green MSP Patrick Harvie said: "It should come as no surprise that Donald Trump has changed his plans already – throughout the whole process his organisation has behaved with supreme arrogance. Scotland should not be turned into a playground for the super-rich, and we should cultivate higher aspirations in our young people than the dream of becoming bag carriers for wealthy loudmouths."

But Mr Sorial said the variation in the exchange rates between sterling and the US dollar had cut costs to the Trump Organisation on the project. He said $500,000 (£340,000) had already been cut from construction costs.