Trump headlines first day of golf inquiry

Donald Trump added an element of show business to the normally staid atmosphere of a public inquiry. His motorcade arrived at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Tuesday and the star of the show strode through the door, surrounded by some 40 television cameras, journalists and photographers.

There was no doubting that the star of the American version of The Apprentice, was the celebrity. Later he was to admit that his celebrity status might have militated against the golf project.

He admitted at a press conference, after giving his evidence, that another golf developer might have had less problem getting permission.

Certainly it seems that some of the anti-Trump brigade are motivated by a desire to cut the larger-than-life property billionaire down to size.

Meanwhile the rest of us are left wondering at the expenditure of millions of pounds on a three-week public inquiry into a project which has overwhelming support from Aberdeenshire councillors and, by all accounts, the majority of the public in Aberdeen City and Shire.

The Trump organisation reckon their costs for the three-week inquiry will be in the order of £1 million. Goodness knows what the cost is to the public purse. I don't even want to think about it.

As Donald Trump pointed out the building work should have been well under way by now. If we want to be a world-class location, we need to streamline our planning system. Perhaps uncharacteristically, Mr Trump is showing remarkable patience with what seems to be the negative and even obstructive ethos built in to our planning system.
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