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Donald Trump: second golf course 'will go smoothly'

Donald Trump expects his plan for a second golf course on his Scottish coastal estate to go "smoothly", avoiding a repeat performance of an earlier battle with environmental objectors.

The businessman set out his ambition during a visit to his estate on the North Sea coast of Aberdeenshire.

Mr Trump, travelling with family members, said the second 18-hole course does not impinge on any highly protected land, unlike the first which controversially covered a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

That "protected" mobile dune system is now stabilised and part of what is described as a particularly challenging hole on the course.

"None of it is protected territory, in terms of SSSI, and it should go, and has been going, very smoothly," he said during a publicity tour for the course.

"Even though many, many golf courses are built in SSSI, we don't have it in this case. It's really going very well. Everyone wants it to happen."

The Trump Organisation says it will add to the existing environmental impact study rather than have to start again.

A more detailed planning application is due to be lodged with Aberdeenshire Council in August and work is then expected to take about 18 months, course architect Dr Martin Hawtree said.

Marram grass would be planted from November, if permission is granted, before work begins to cover a vast swathe of sand among dunes close to the edge of Balmedie Country Park.

The second course covers more low-lying land including fields and areas of heather. It will be named The MacLeod Course to reflect Mr Trump's mother's Scottish ancestry.

Despite his hopes for smooth progress, he has dug in his heels in a separate planning battle pitting him against First Minister Alex Salmond.

The course hotel and other housing is on hold for as long as plans exist for an offshore wind turbine development within view of the estate.

"The hotel, I will not build," Mr Trump insisted.

"Windfarms are a disaster for the environment. They kill the birds, they're very expensive in terms of energy, they're made in China and, frankly, I don't know where Scotland benefits. They're a total disaster for the environment."

A major company behind the wind turbine development, Vattenfal, has already reined in its investment.

"Whoever buys it is going to lose a tremendous amount of money," Mr Trump said.

"Only a fool would buy it. It's a totally ridiculous project. I think we're very close to having it abandoned."

He previously claimed he felt misled about the location of the offshore development.

Asked today if he believes Mr Salmond deceived him about the plans, Mr Trump replied: "Yes, he did."

Like other parts of his development, the hotel will be among the "greatest in the world", he said.

The visit was marked with the granting of a six-star award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Its president, Joseph Cinque, handed over a plaque bestowing the development with the accolade "best golf course worldwide".

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