Don't lose the Trump opportunity over SNH

The SNH objection to Donald Trump's proposed Trump International Golf Links must not be allowed to stop the £1 billion development. As Aberdeen City and Shire looks to build on its role as a global centre for energy, what better boost could we have for our economy than the best golf complex in the world?

The estimates are that Trump International Golf Links could create 6,000 jobs. More importantly it could bring a steady flow of visitors to a part of Scotland that traditionally has been off the main tourism track. (Visitors tend to go to Edinburgh and, if heading north, go straight to Loch Ness and the Highlands.)

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The knock-on benefits in terms of tourism, infrastructure and business are potentially immense. Not to mention the sheer PR value of having Aberdeen's name in lights around the globe as the world's best destination for golfers.

One thing is for sure, Mr Trump's "go getting, no nonsense" style and our slow, grinding planning system were always going to be at odds.

Local businesses have been complaining for years that they cannot plan their businesses when it can take two years or more to get answers to planning applications. The First World Headquarters proposal is a case in point and any organisation less determined to stay in Aberdeen would have been off down the road to London or Leeds in a flash, given the drawn-out decision making process.

We simply cannot risk that with the Trump International Golf Links plan.

It is too big an opportunity to let slip through our hands.

It is also one where we have to accept some compromises - even if that means compromising on one site of special scientific interest. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made in the name of progress.
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