Scottish Natural Heritage responds on Trump golf links
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has written to Aberdeenshire Council advising them that part of the proposed development at Menie would, in its view, seriously damage an important nature conservation site and sand dune habitats. The extensive assessment by SNH details damage to Foveran Links Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

SNH was consulted on this development proposal by Aberdeenshire Council in early April and was asked to respond by 30 May. The organisation has today submitted a response to the council objecting to part of the development because of the effect it would have on the sand dune landforms and habitats within the Foveran Links Site of Special Scientific Interest and a similar area of dunes to the south of the SSSI. The organisation says that the proposal would effectively destroy a third of the important natural heritage features of Foveran Links SSSI. SNH is not opposed in principle to the development and states that a single championship golf course could be accommodated on adjacent land within the development site without causing significant impacts on the habitats within the nationally important SSSI.

The SNH response also includes important advice to Aberdeenshire Council on other aspects of the development such as landscape, protected species (including bats, otters and badgers), public access and biodiversity.

SNH's area manager for Grampian, Robin Payne, said: "I very much appreciate the dialogue we have had with Aberdeenshire Council and the Trump Organisation to identify the sensitivities at this location. I also welcome the fact that the Trump Organisation have fully acknowledged in their Environmental Statement both the environmental quality of this location and the impact their proposed development would have. SNH has also been entirely open about our concerns with the proposal and the impacts on the natural heritage if this proposal goes ahead in its present form, all of which is reflected in our response to Aberdeenshire Council.

"This stunning site at Menie with its huge sand dunes is part of the largest dune system in Scotland, stretching from Newburgh to Bridge of Don. As the development of a golf course at this location would cause such significant damage to the SSSI, and the dunes to the south of it, we have submitted an objection to this part of the proposal. SSSIs are established to protect the most important 10% - 12% of Scotland's natural heritage and our duty is to have regard for that on behalf of all of Scotland's people.

"There is a common misconception that SNH makes the decision in cases such as this. I'd like to emphasise that SNH's role here is to advise Aberdeenshire Council on the impacts any proposal would have on the natural heritage. The council will consider SNH's advice, along with all the other factors such as the road infrastructure, the Grampian economy, public services and also their own environmental duties when making their decision."

Further information:
Heather Kinnin, press & public relations officer, Scottish Natural Heritage 0131 446 2274/0131 447 4784
If unavailable/engaged please call 01463 725022