US tycoon Donald Trump's controversial plans for a golf course and luxury hotel in north-east Scotland have been slammed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The proposals have been consistently opposed by environmental groups, but the RSPB's statement this week may prove particularly damaging as it's one of the main conservation organisations being consulted on the Menie Estate scheme.
In a damming report to the local council which is set to rule on the plans, the RSPB claims the £1b development will effectively "destroy" the Aberdeenshire coastline which is currently a designated site of special scientific interest.
Dr Ian Francis, the RSPB's area manager, called for the resort plans to be rejected, arguing that the level of destruction couldn't be justified by any social or economic benefits that the development would bring.
Gregory McAbery, spokesman for Aberdeen Friends of the Earth, backed the RSPB's calls. "There are a wide range of reasons to be sceptical about the suitability of the Trump proposals for the site, and the wildlife aspects are just part of the problem," he said. "At the moment the proposals appear unsustainable."
A spokeswoman for Trump, who was reportedly considering axing the project earlier this year in the face of environmental protests, declined to comment on the RSPB report but said the Trump organisation was still "100% committed" to the project. "We're still going ahead with the planning application," she added.
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By Emily Manson
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