Donald Trump’s plans to build 550 luxury homes have hit a snag after it was revealed that his property firm could be charged £5m for refusing to create affordable homes near his Aberdeenshire golf course.
The proposed plans are already under threat after attracting the highest number of letters the local council has ever received, as almost 3,000 people penned protests.
And it has been suggested that the only chance Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Jr, have of convincing councillors to back the build is by paying a £5m surcharge to help fund affordable homes.
This measure is acceptable in “rare and exceptional cases”, according to Aberdeenshire Council’s affordable housing strategy, when none are included in a scheme or less than their 25 per cent affordable homes quota.
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The measure was introduced to try and fill the dire need for social housing in the Scottish city – more than 6,000 people were on housing waiting lists last year with plans afoot to build 2,000 new homes at the cost of £250m.
Green Party councillor Martin Ford told The Guardian: “Mr Trump’s application for outline planning permission for a golf resort was also contrary to numerous planning policies.
“The unique treatment of that application – it was ‘called in’ and granted by the Scottish government – undoubtedly had much to do with the identity of the applicant.
“This time there must be no special favours for Mr Trump’s business. Councillors should stick to planning policy and decide accordingly.”
It is not the first time that Trump has been at loggerheads with planning chiefs after seeing the £750m golf resort rejected back in 2008. He was eventually allowed to proceed after the proposal was accepted on appeal.