The Trump Organization Plans to Spend $200 Million Expanding a Controversial Scotland Golf Resort

July 24, 2018, 10:38 AM UTC

President Trump’s love for Scotland is no secret.

And that love is now taking the shape of a new £150 million ($197 million) investment in one of his existing golf resorts there.

The Trump Organization said Tuesday that the funds would be directed toward the second phase of development for its golf course in Balmedie, near Aberdeen in north-east Scotland, which includes plans to build 500 homes, 50 hotel cottages, a sports center, retail, equestrian, and commercial spaces.

But the development has drawn criticism from many, including locals and environmentalists.

On the one hand, the development has been accused of failing to drive the investment and create the jobs it had promised when it was first approved in 2008. At the time, the Trump Organization said it would spend £1 billion and create 6,000 jobs in the process of the golf resort’s build-out. As of 2017, the Trump Organization said it had only invested about 10% of that, the BBC reports, in large part because it had paused development during a failed legal fight against an offshore wind farm in the area.

The Trump Organization claims the new investment of £150 million will create close to 2,000 jobs during construction and 300 permanent jobs.

From an environmental perspective, the development is built on a protected area, which government watchdog Scottish Natural Heritage claims has been “partially destroyed” by the development. The development is in part built on Foveran Links, deemed a Site of Special Scientific Interest and listed as “one of the most exceptional sand dune systems in Britain,” according to the BBC. When plans for the development were approved, they were granted on the condition that “the potential economic benefit would outweigh environmental harm.”

The proposal for this second phase of the development has already received “outline approval” from the Aberdeenshire Council.