Donald Trump's plans to build a £1bn golf resort including the "best links course in the world" in Scotland are in disarray after councillors voted to turn down the proposals.

The application was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council's infrastructure committee on the casting vote of the chairman, Martin Ford, who warned it would be a "grotesque mistake" to approve the development on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

Yesterday's decision won praise from environmentalists and attracted condemnation from the business community which had given unprecedented support to the plan.

After the rejection vote was revealed, US billionaire Mr Trump told The Herald that he was "surprised" by the result and was considering an appeal or the possibility of building another resort elsewhere.

The controversy centred on the fact that one-third of the proposed championship course sits on sand dunes which are a Site of Special of Scientific Interest and the development includes 500 executive homes.