Northwards from Menie, 2006. The Menie story - Part 1

Northwards from Menie, 2006. The Menie story - Part 1

Through the dunes (now destroyed, pictured) can be seen Hightown, Collieston, a distance of six miles as the gull flies.

PART 1
"Menie, it’s the greatest,” claimed the bullish, blowhard Donald Trump six years ago, after he bought the former shooting estate in North-East Scotland for £7 million.

Menie is now 'a gated estate'. Roads have become pot-holed tracks: rights-of-way have disappeared. Bunds (embankments; mounds of earth) have been constructed to block residents' views. There's a new road imaginatively called Trump Boulevard, leading to a links golf course built on naturally-shifting sands - a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Menie House has been renamed McLeod House after Trump's Lewis-born mother: the entire eco-system has become 'the Great Dunes of Scotland'.

A large 'temporary' marquee has been erected in the grounds of the estate. '750 square metres,' trumpets the Donald. 'McTent - it's the greatest.'

The estate's layout bears little resemblance to maps from Google or Ordnance Survey. There are locked gates, with notices on the posts saying legal action is likely if you continue to access, and ‘No-Through Road’ signs. Grampian police vehicles glide on the horizon in the eerie haar (sic). Trump International security 4x4s appear around every bend, and lurk at roadblocks. It's only a matter of time before a drone starts following folk about.

Menie residents live under siege conditions. Their environment, ways, views and amenities are damaged, if not lost. They have faced the threat of compulsory purchase, forced eviction from their homes.

Trump is facing unprecedented criticism from Aberdeenshire Council for breaching planning rules at his 'luxury' resort. Having applied for planning permission five times in the last 18 months for construction work which has already been undertaken, he is now being asked to submit a sixth request for retrospective permission. Since his resort was given planning permission in November 2008, Aberdeenshire Council has been an unswerving supporter of the development. But a recent Formartine Area Committee (FAC) meeting agreed to write to Trump because 'it is highly unusual for a developer to so obviously ignore planning legislation time and time again with serial breaches requiring action.' Independent Councillor Paul Johnston opposed Trump's latest retro-application for a car park, associated intrusive lighting and the bund, arguing that the impact on the Munro family was "unacceptable". The Munros have lived at Menie for 30 years. When it rains now, there is nowhere for water to go and their house is in danger of being flooded. "We're imprisoned," Susan Munro told the Sunday Herald (16th June 2013). "Trump is so arrogant he thinks that with all his money and power he can do what he likes."

George Sorial, Trump's executive vice-president, said: "We have never built without permission and enjoy a strong working relationship with the Council's planning department. Claims to the contrary are inaccurate, made by people who are ignorant of the facts and do not understand the relevant law."

On April 23rd Councillors, Trump representatives and protesting villagers attended a public meeting over an electricity sub-station planned for Blackdog, south of the Menie estate. The sub-station is required for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project: Trump opposes the EOWDC and the turbines which will be visible from Menie. The 11 turbines form an essential element in the Scottish Government's ambition to generate 100% of the country's energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. As well as producing power, the EOWDC will bring scientists, researchers, engineers and offshore wind companies to Scotland as tests on offshore turbines proceed, particularly deepwater arrays. The Councillors rushed up the road from Blackdog for a scheduled site visit to investigate changes to the car-park and the intrusive lighting at Menie. It was growing dark, but the lights were off for the very first time. No-one from the Menie estate turned up to meet the Councillors, because Trump's representatives were down at the overrunning Blackdog meeting, supporting the residents in their protest against the planned EOWDC sub-station. FAC members turned down the sub-station plans on October 29th 2013. EOWDC can now appeal the decision or look at alternative sites for the sub-station. There is no truth in the rumour that Mike Forbes - the farmer whose 'Local Hero' and David-and-Goliath-style battle with Trump was highlighted in the 'You've Been Trumped' film - has offered the EOWDC project developers part of his land on which to site the sub-station.

Grampian Police have complained about Trump, saying that he demands 'New York-style' high-level policing at his resort, that they have to act as Trump's 'private security force'.

Grampian Police have received over 300 complaints over its high-handed arrest of Anthony Baxter and his producer, Richard Phinney, at the Menie home of the Munro family. The two film-makers were working on 'You've Been Trumped', the award-winning documentary which exposes intimidation and collusion at Menie.

The film-makers' sequel, 'A Dangerous Game', will get its world premiere at the Canadian International Documentary Festival in April 2014. It explores the political fallout from the Menie development and examines other horrific golf resort developments from around the world.

PART 2 follows, see next image.
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Northwards from Menie, 2006. The Menie story - Part 1

Northwards from Menie, 2006. The Menie story - Part 1

Through the dunes (now destroyed, pictured) can be seen Hightown, Collieston, a distance of six miles as the gull flies.

PART 1
"Menie, it’s the greatest,” claimed the bullish, blowhard Donald Trump six years ago, after he bought the former shooting estate in North-East Scotland for £7 million.

Menie is now 'a gated estate'. Roads have become pot-holed tracks: rights-of-way have disappeared. Bunds (embankments; mounds of earth) have been constructed to block residents' views. There's a new road imaginatively called Trump Boulevard, leading to a links golf course built on naturally-shifting sands - a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Menie House has been renamed McLeod House after Trump's Lewis-born mother: the entire eco-system has become 'the Great Dunes of Scotland'.

A large 'temporary' marquee has been erected in the grounds of the estate. '750 square metres,' trumpets the Donald. 'McTent - it's the greatest.'

The estate's layout bears little resemblance to maps from Google or Ordnance Survey. There are locked gates, with notices on the posts saying legal action is likely if you continue to access, and ‘No-Through Road’ signs. Grampian police vehicles glide on the horizon in the eerie haar (sic). Trump International security 4x4s appear around every bend, and lurk at roadblocks. It's only a matter of time before a drone starts following folk about.

Menie residents live under siege conditions. Their environment, ways, views and amenities are damaged, if not lost. They have faced the threat of compulsory purchase, forced eviction from their homes.

Trump is facing unprecedented criticism from Aberdeenshire Council for breaching planning rules at his 'luxury' resort. Having applied for planning permission five times in the last 18 months for construction work which has already been undertaken, he is now being asked to submit a sixth request for retrospective permission. Since his resort was given planning permission in November 2008, Aberdeenshire Council has been an unswerving supporter of the development. But a recent Formartine Area Committee (FAC) meeting agreed to write to Trump because 'it is highly unusual for a developer to so obviously ignore planning legislation time and time again with serial breaches requiring action.' Independent Councillor Paul Johnston opposed Trump's latest retro-application for a car park, associated intrusive lighting and the bund, arguing that the impact on the Munro family was "unacceptable". The Munros have lived at Menie for 30 years. When it rains now, there is nowhere for water to go and their house is in danger of being flooded. "We're imprisoned," Susan Munro told the Sunday Herald (16th June 2013). "Trump is so arrogant he thinks that with all his money and power he can do what he likes."

George Sorial, Trump's executive vice-president, said: "We have never built without permission and enjoy a strong working relationship with the Council's planning department. Claims to the contrary are inaccurate, made by people who are ignorant of the facts and do not understand the relevant law."

On April 23rd Councillors, Trump representatives and protesting villagers attended a public meeting over an electricity sub-station planned for Blackdog, south of the Menie estate. The sub-station is required for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project: Trump opposes the EOWDC and the turbines which will be visible from Menie. The 11 turbines form an essential element in the Scottish Government's ambition to generate 100% of the country's energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. As well as producing power, the EOWDC will bring scientists, researchers, engineers and offshore wind companies to Scotland as tests on offshore turbines proceed, particularly deepwater arrays. The Councillors rushed up the road from Blackdog for a scheduled site visit to investigate changes to the car-park and the intrusive lighting at Menie. It was growing dark, but the lights were off for the very first time. No-one from the Menie estate turned up to meet the Councillors, because Trump's representatives were down at the overrunning Blackdog meeting, supporting the residents in their protest against the planned EOWDC sub-station. FAC members turned down the sub-station plans on October 29th 2013. EOWDC can now appeal the decision or look at alternative sites for the sub-station. There is no truth in the rumour that Mike Forbes - the farmer whose 'Local Hero' and David-and-Goliath-style battle with Trump was highlighted in the 'You've Been Trumped' film - has offered the EOWDC project developers part of his land on which to site the sub-station.

Grampian Police have complained about Trump, saying that he demands 'New York-style' high-level policing at his resort, that they have to act as Trump's 'private security force'.

Grampian Police have received over 300 complaints over its high-handed arrest of Anthony Baxter and his producer, Richard Phinney, at the Menie home of the Munro family. The two film-makers were working on 'You've Been Trumped', the award-winning documentary which exposes intimidation and collusion at Menie.

The film-makers' sequel, 'A Dangerous Game', will get its world premiere at the Canadian International Documentary Festival in April 2014. It explores the political fallout from the Menie development and examines other horrific golf resort developments from around the world.

PART 2 follows, see next image.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer: