Trump Organization’s Scottish housing plan receives record number of objections

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The Trump Organization has received a record number of objections to its proposed new housing estate in Scotland, a local councillor told CNBC Tuesday.

More than 3,000 locals have submitted formal objections to the company’s plans, which include the construction of around 500 private homes near the Trump Golf Course in the village of Balmedie, Aberdeenshire.

A petition from campaign group “Tripping up Trump” has also gained almost 19,000 signatures to stop the luxury homes from being granted planning permission.

The houses will be sold for over £1 million ($1.32 million) each, the campaign group said on its petition’s webpage in August.

The resistance among residents is a far cry from the local response to Trump’s 2007 proposal to build a 450-room hotel resort, which gained public support despite being contrary to planning policy.

According to local councillor Martin Ford, residents supported Trump a decade ago when they associated his celebrity status with investment – but he noted that the now-President’s reputation has since changed.

“Mr Trump’s proposed housing scheme has attracted far more objections than any other housing proposal in the history of Aberdeenshire,” he told CNBC over the phone on Tuesday.

“When you go back to the big application in 2007, there were over 2,000 letters of support for the proposals and about a thousand objections. Fast forward to now and you’re down from about 2,000 support letters to about two, while the number of objections is over 3,000. It’s perfectly obvious that public opinion has shifted on Mr Trump.”

A decision on the Trump Organization’s housing estate is due either at the end of this year or in early 2019, Ford said.

Sarah Malone, executive vice president at Trump Aberdeen, told CNBC in an email that the petition against the plans was “fundamentally flawed.”

Trump Aberdeen already has outline planning approval for its plans which include residential homes, hotel and leisure accommodation and a wide range of resort facilities that will further enhance the world-class golf course on property and significantly improve the amenities in the local area,” she said.

“Politically motivated and vexatious objections are not relevant within Scottish planning law. This project has tremendous support regionally, nationally and internationally and already has several hundred registered notes of interest.”

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