Trump Organisation ‘must pay £5m’ to meet affordable housing quota at Aberdeenshire resort
The Trump Organisation will have to pay £5 million towards affordable housing should plans to build luxury housing near the US president’s Aberdeenshire golf course gain planning approval, according to reports.
Plans to build 550 new homes on a site within the Trump International Golf Links estate at Menie, near Balmedie, are due to go before Aberdeenshire Council’s planning committee next month.
The venture promises “exceptional country living”, with houses on sale for as much as “several million” pounds.
But documents submitted to the local authority only specify 27 affordable housing units, described as “key worker” apartments.
Now Scotland on Sunday reports that council officials have said that a payment of £5m is necessary to meet affordable housing needs in the nearby area.
Anne Anderson, an affordable housing development officer at the council, has asked Trump’s staff for more details of the affordable housing provision “as a matter of urgency”.
She said: “The housing service would require further details of this proposal before this could be considered as an affordable housing contribution.
“On this occasion the housing services would be looking to secure a commuted sum of £5m in order to address local housing need in the Ellon Academy catchment area.”
The number of affordable homes proposed so far represents a significant reduction compared with Trump’s original plans for 98 affordable units at the Aberdeenshire resort.
A section 75 agreement, struck between the council and Trump International Golf Club Scotland in December 2008, specified that Trump’s company would make two “affordable housing contribution” payments totalling £7.35m.
However, because the scale of the development has not been as large as the approved plans, the payments have not been triggered.
Debra Storr, a planning consultant and former Aberdeenshire councillor who opposed Trump’s inaugural golf course, said: “They’re trying to kind of get away with classifying workers’ accommodation as affordable housing units. This is the Trump Organisation trying to get away with bloody murder.
“The generalised requirement for affordable housing is 25 per cent [of the development], so if they are building 500 houses, 125 should affordable”.
More than 3000 people have formally objected to the plans, with another 19,000 signing an online petition being considered by the Aberdeenshire Council.
The total is understood to be a new record for objections to a Scottish planning application.
Objections were raised about the lack of access, parking issues and suggestions the development would not benefit “the local economy”.