'I couldn't believe it," said Susan Munro, one of Donald Trump's famed and much-troubled neighbours on the northeast coast of Scotland.

"It was the first time they listened to me and did something. It was a historic event."

In an unprecedented move, Aberdeenshire Council has told the outspoken tycoon what to do with his controversial golf course - and he's done it. It's a sign that, slowly but significantly, the way the local authority is treating Trump could be shifting to a more robust and challenging position. This week, Trump is launching a public consultation on his plans to build a second 18-hole links golf course at the Menie estate on the Aberdeenshire coast. He will need planning permission from the council to go ahead.

Munro has lived in Leyton Cottage at Menie for 30 years. Since Trump's £750 million golf resort was given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government in 2008, she has been threatened, along with other neighbours, with the possibility of compulsory purchase and plunged into a series of conflicts over the development.

Contractors have piled huge mounds of earth around her house and garden, to hide her property from golfers. She claims the embankments, planted with trees, have blocked her view, cut out natural light and increased the risk of flooding.

"I can't see a damn thing here, I really can't. It's awful. I'm trapped, it's like a wall all around me," she told the Sunday Herald. "I'm not getting any light. If the trees grow, I won't be able to see the sky."

Trump did not have planning permission for the embankments, but applied for retrospective consent for them. The Sunday Herald revealed in June that he had made five applications in 18 months for consent for construction work that has already been completed, and was being asked by the council to make a sixth.

Aberdeenshire Council approved the embankments despite opposition, but asked Trump to lower them and replant some of the trees. Trump's ­contractors appeared at the start of the month and doubled the height of the east embankment at the bottom of Munro's garden from about two to four metres.

When Munro noticed a digger and a dumper truck shifting the earth, she went to speak to the drivers. "I was annoyed," she said. "Trump had been told to halve the size of the bank, and he doubled it. He just does what he wants, if he can get away with it."

She contacted a planning official at the council, who promised to visit the next morning. Two local councillors came to see what had happened, and the Montrose filmmaker, Anthony Baxter, also started asking questions of officialdom.

Within a few days, the diggers were back at the bottom of Munro's garden removing the earth they had just put there. The embankment was lowered back down to the height it used to be.

"I wonder if he's being good, kowtowing to the council so that he can get permission for his second golf course," said Munro.

Trump has yet to lower the height of the other embankment to the south, or to replant the trees as the council requested. He has also been asked to remove three lampposts from an adjoining car park. "There's still a long way to go," Munro said with a sigh.

Another controversy is emerging about the sidelining of an expert committee meant to oversee environmental aspects of Trump's development. The Menie Environmental Management Advisory Group (MEMAG), set up as a condition of planning approval, has not met since January.

"I'm not sure it still exists," one of its members, retired Aberdeenshire Council senior planner Allan Garvie, told the Sunday Herald. He said he was disappointed that the Trump Organisation and members of the local community had failed to turn up for meetings.

According to the council spokesman, MEMAG is a "continued requirement". He said: "In order to further meet its obligations, a review of the group's remit is being carried out to ensure it is best placed to consider any future environmental matters relating to the site."

George Sorial, the Trump Organisation's executive vice-president in New York, said the outcome of the review would be available in due course. He dismissed concerns about the embankments around Munro's home.

"All these matters have been discussed and agreed upon with the council," he said. "There will be additional landscaping proposals submitted in connection with our detailed application for the areas around our existing facilities and the second golf course."