Trump to challenge ‘bizarre’ flag decision

Donald Trump is challenging the committee's decision.
Donald Trump is challenging the committee's decision.

Donald Trump is at loggerheads with Formartine councillors over a flagpole.

The area committee turned down a retrospective application for a flag at the Menie clubhouse.

There is no legal basis for this bizarre decision which we will, of course, appeal

Trump International Spokesperson

Trump representatives later branded the decision “bizarre” and confirmed they would appeal.

Councillors narrowly approved a retrospective move to fly the 80ft Saltire near the MacLeod House Hotel on the championship links - but rejected the one near the clubhouse.

Chairman Councillor Rob Merson said he “could not, in all conscience” agree with statements in a report before them that the flagpole had a “minimal impact” on the B listed MacLeod House and felt it was disproportionate and overbearing.

But the committee voted 6-5 to approve.

Fellow councillors were more concerned about the impact of the second flagpole.

Several committee members expressed concern at more retrospective planning applications coming forward from the Trump Organisation, but noted they were obliged by planning policy to consider them in the same way as any other application.

Ellon and District Councillor Richard Thomson said: “Although I appreciate that Mr Trump is not responsible

for every aspect of the development, he has a team of people working for him who should, by now, be very familiar with the planning regulations.”

A Trump International Golf Links Scotland spokesperson confirmed they would challenge the decision.

The spokesperson added: “The council’s professional advisers assessed both flagpoles and recommended approval.

“There is no legal basis for this bizarre decision which we will, of course, appeal.

“To allow us to fly the national flag next to our hotel but not permit us to fly the exact same flag next to our clubhouse is nonsense.

“This is small-minded petty politics at its worst.”

Last month the Times revealed that Trump International had applied 12 times for retrospective planning permission after putting up structures at the Menie estate without first seeking approval. Including the flagpoles, retrospective approval has been sought for nine full planning applications, two listed building and one advert.