Are you local?

GREEN campaigners are less than happy, according to The Sunday Times (can’t find the story on the web yet). Not exactly news, you might say, but on this occasion they’re threatening to obstruct the Trump golfing development in north east Scotland in order to protect various local wildlife.

They’ll be supported by other local inhabitants, many of whom – and I will need to choose my words carefully – are not exactly tenth generation locals, and who bought their homes in the area in order to enjoy the peace and quiet of a sparsely populated idyll, and hope to keep it that way. And who can blame them?

Unfortunately for them, there are many more who will jump at the chance to have some real investment and economic development on their doorstep if it will offer their children an incentive to live and work in the area where they were brought up instead of heading for the exit sign as soon as they leave school.

And therein lies the true conflict in the Trump saga: it’s not about a sleight-of-hand planning process and the political capital that might be made by one party or another. It’s about local people having the same right as the rest of the country to enjoy economic prosperity, a thriving local economy and, above all, local jobs.

Trump will provide all of that, or at the very least, the opportunity to achieve it.

And that, unfortunately, is more important than maintaining an empty wilderness for the enjoyment of the few whose personal economic security was achieved before they moved to the area.



Filed under Economy, Scottish Government

8 responses to “Are you local?

  1. Ye environmente seems lately to have become the NIMBYs’ weapon of choice. Round our way there’s a tremendous battle between the people who live in houses built on land that was all just fields sixty years ago against proposed developments on adjacent fields and derelict orchards.

    Naturally the Tories and LibDems who run the local councils are seeking to pass the “blame” onto the Labour government. What a sin to want everyone to have access to decent housing!

    Of course the campaigners have enlisted the vocal support of eager environmental “experts” who can keep straight faces whilst claiming that the development of a few acres in this most uncrowded county will doom thousands of species to early extinction and bring our road network shuddering to a gridlocked halt. (I’m sure these noble folk would, for a suitable fee, be pleased to hurry up to Scotland to help delay progress there as well.)

    Getting 3m new homes built in Britain ain’t going to be easy…

  2. I live in Woking. There are about 30 Golf Courses in my local area, but very little for kids to do, thanks to our wonderful Tory Council. But I digress.

    My point is, firstly that I am unconvinced of massive economic benefits to a single golf course (have these been demonstrated adequately? To they trump environmental concerns?). Secondly I feel that your argument could be extended to any development, but obviously some developments shouldn’t take place.

    However, as for housing, I genuinely think that the citizens opposing this are selfish individuals with no respect for the needs of the wider community.

    I think we’re about to see the great crested newt population mysteriously explode in numbers.

  3. Johnny Norfolk

    Green belt land and our countryside used to be safe, but not under Labour any more.

  4. Norman Fraser

    Well, I don’t think it’s anything like as simple as that. Firstly, there is a lot of opposition from people who have lived in the area all their lives. Secondly, the financial benefits of this scheme have been greatly exaggerated. Finally, Trump could have amended his plan to preserve the threatened habitat. He chose not to and instead set out to bully the Council. The calling in of this plan is not just a disappointment for environmentalists, it should worry anyone worried about the centralising tendencies of a Nat Government.

  5. A couple of things…

    Its EXACTLY about sleight of hand planning processes and the political capital gained from a project this size. Remind me exactly why your colleagues on the New Labour benches at Holyrood were rushing to congratulate the SNP in giving the go-ahead to demolish a precious part of Scotland’s scenery… sorry meant to type giving the go ahead to a scheme which will bring millions of pounds of investment to the local economy. Not that the SNP have exactly covered themselves in glory, the sight of their Aberdeenshire councilors and MSPs campaigning for the removal of Cllr Martin Ford is one of the most unedifying sight i have ever seen (considering they were wanting him sacked for doing his job). Trump could have amended his plan to preserve the SSI, and the plan for housing on the site could have been changed too. The fact that both sticking points have not been touched shows how much our polititians have simply run up the white flag of surrender to this person.

    Secondly, the claim that thousands of jobs will be created for local people is somewhat false. In my experience of holidaying in Scotland, there is hardly a Scottish accent in the hotel staff. Local people will still leave for better things, its just that they will be replaced by migrant workers.

  6. Andrew BOD


    I have been following the Trump saga closely for more than a year now and this is the most interesting take I’ve heard on the opposition to the development.

    I entirely disagree with Norman about indigenous opposition, with the exception of those closest to Menie. However, many people have moved to Aberdeenshire over the last thirty years or so, a great number of them to take up a post in the oil industry, but I also suspect many who crave for a better quality of life away from continuous development in southern urban areas. And that’s fine. It’s good to have a cultural mix of people who bring some skills and attributes that are perhaps not in abundance in the NE of Scotland.

    I, however, want my children to have the opportunity to stay in this part of Scotland if they so wish, and not HAVE to move away to seek employment. To do that, we must have industry diversification, not just in tourism, but in many other things. And that means inward investment. Now Trump’s golf development may not be the answer to everything, but it is a mighty big start.

    So yes Tom, I’ve noticed a great deal more opposition from people who have moved to Aberdeenshire, than those who have lived here all of their lives, and without being parochial about this, I think you’ve hit the nail on the ‘heed’.

  7. Robert

    My council did a deal with one of those large companies that open up gold sorry Golf courses, I live in the sticks but the Beach here is nine miles of Golden sand and a park which would make many envious, it’s an old RAF and ordinance factory now all gone, just leaving woods and grass lands.

    So they built the golf course, under the agreement it would allow local people to join for a price which was acceptable. (£3,000)
    It’s open now the council met it’s agreements and the 1 million was given and course is now up and running, it has a private company looking after the course which uses mainly self employed people, well you can pay them what you like.

    anyway to join the club is by invitation only references are taken and how many local joined well all the council officials for one and a few local business men, how much work has it brought in, well six jobs at £5.73. the cost to the council was as I said One million jobs are seasonal and low paid, I wonder what it will be in Scotland.

  8. Brian

    I’ve just moved to Aberdeen and the generally feeling about the place is that the Trump development is a good thing for places north of Aberdeen.

    Most of these places are crofting and farming communities with a smattering of tourism.

    Quite simply, it will become the done thing for the Oil Execs to have shindigs and corporate days at the course and bring a LOT of wealth to these areas where house prices are very high (as in all of Aberdeen) but unless you are in oil, the potential earnings can be quite low.

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