Donald Trump wins first round of court battle with 85-yr-old widow

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 06 Jan 2010 15:43, Last updated: 2010-01-06
"The fight goes on," says determined Molly

A Scottish court has today thrown out a legal bid by 85-year-old Molly Forbes to block Donald Trump's plans to develop a luxury golf resort.

The pensioner's application for an interim interdict to block Trump Golf Links Scotland from carrying out work on the proposed Menie Golf Course was refused because of a technicality at the Court of Session.

But despite the judge's ruling, the determined local resident has vowed to carry on the legal fight and is now considering an appeal.

Mrs Forbes' application related to decisions by Aberdeenshire Council to grant six planning permissions, one of which allowed work to commence on the golf course itself. It was only this application, for works on the dunes at Menie, which was being considered by the court at today's interim interdict hearing.

The grounds of the legal challenge for the six applications are that Aberdeenshire Council did not follow the correct procedures in determining some of the applications, that European law was breached by the absence of environmental assessments of some of the permissions, and there was a failure to consider impacts on nearby sites designated for conservation.

In addition, Mrs Forbes' legal papers cite as inadequate the information given by the developer as to why the additional areas granted outline planning permission are now required for the development.

Lady Smith indicated that, in part, her judgment was based on the fact that Mrs Forbes was not entitled to seek an interim interdict as she had not previously written to object to the proposals. However, Mrs Forbes’' legal team had argued that this was irrelevant, and that she was entitled to bring the case as a resident of Menie, and therefore as someone having‘sufficient interest’.

Following the ruling, Mrs Forbes said: “I am disappointed by the court's decision, and have asked my lawyers to advise me on the prospects of appealing the ruling.

“It is important to note that this interim order does not stop me from proceeding with the action in relation to the other planning permissions granted, including one which would allow Mr Trump to develop Mill of Menie, where I stay, against my will. Almost three quarters of Scots are with me in my wish to stay in my own home.

“I wish to thank the hundreds of people who sent me Christmas cards and messages of support over the last few weeks.”

Mrs Forbes is being represented by Frances McCartney of the Environmental Law Centre Scotland.

In a statement, the organisation claimed that although the Scottish Ministers following a public inquiry granted outline planning permission in 2008, the developers cannot start work under that permission until a number of conditions are met, including that a Masterplan is approved by the planning authority.

Opponents claim that in order to start work immediately, the developers submitted an application for full planning permission for the planting of marram grass, preparatory earthworks and the erection of fencing on the dunes at Menie.

In relation to the outline planning permission for five additional sites, Mr Trump is believed to have indicated in his evidence to the public inquiry that he had sufficient land to implement his development, and has stated so in the past.

An application has been made by the developers to Aberdeenshire Council that the Council uses its powers of compulsory purchase to obtain additional land for the development, including the homes of residents who have not agreed to sell their property to Trump Golf Links Scotland.

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Comments about Donald Trump wins first round of court battle with 85-yr-old widow

If Trump is allowed to buy his way through Scotland then Scotland's Govt and Grampian Council should hang their heads in shame.
G Anderson, Glasgow around 3 years, 11 months ago

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