Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, has launched fresh criticism of billionaire developer Donald Trump following a visit to the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.
Mr Harvie viewed tree-planting on top of massive mounds of earth which surround a local resident’s house. The trees breach the planning conditions relating to Mr Trump’s environmentally-destructive golf course.
The MSP, who successfully earned a reprimand for the tycoon from the authorities for his sick anti-windfarm adverts, also saw from himself the failed attempts to stop sand movement in the internationally-important dune system. The dunes have swamped the fences that were planted.
Mr Harvie said:
“The bullying of local residents and the trashing of an internationally-important nature site are out of sight out of mind for most of us but it’s clear to me the intimidation and destruction are continuing. I understand the unpermitted tree-planting on the earth piles surrounding one resident’s house could be corrected but it simply shows the arrogance of this developer.
“I would encourage people to see for themselves the mess at Menie. It should serve as a reminder that when councils and governments suck up to the rich the public tends to pay the price.”
Meanwhile the Aberdeenshire’s Democratic Independent and Green Group of councillors have called for the council to be more open about any breaches in planning permission or unauthorised development. The majority of Scotland’s councils publish lists online of ongoing planning enforcement cases but Aberdeenshire council does not.
The DIGG councillors believe that an online register of enforcement cases would make it clear to local residents and community groups whether a suspected breach was already subject to proceedings. This would make it easier for interested parties to monitor any action taken by the council.
Councillor Paul Johnston, DIGG group leader, said:
“The Council should be open and clear so the public can see what has been reported and – importantly – what action is being taken for possible breaches in planning law,
“Many people I know have criticised the Council for not doing enough on enforcement when people flout planning permission and conditions. It might be something is being done – but none of this is transparent to the public. This action will help put that right.”