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This article from The Independent – November 2008 underlines just how environmentally vulnerable landscapes get destroyed when American ‘tycoons’ spy big pickings to be had in their never ending need for more coppers, or in this case dollars, to fill their bank accounts!  Just a few choice quotes from Golf Madness is Killing the Countryside by Terence Blacker.

“For all the hot air about energy, the Scottish Government has encouraged a development which will depend upon rich businessman flying from around the world to enjoy Trumpland,

For all the talk of sensible investment, it has granted planning permission for 500 “luxury homes” at the precise moment when the market for such properties has collapsed. The market for such homes in London, for example, reached a 32-year low last month.

For all the commitment to social benefits, it is to allow the rape of a much-loved, environmentally valuable landscape in order to provide facilities for one of the most exclusive and class-ridden sports in the world.

For all the warm words about local activism, it has ridden roughshod over the will of the local council. Those who have dared to speak against the development have been subjected to pressure, harassment and bullying.

There will be jobs, particularly in the short term while the development is being built, but it is ludicrous to argue that Scottish tourism will benefit. The majority of people do not visit the country in order to see a string of dreary, identical, environmentally dead golf courses, but to enjoy one of the most interesting and beautiful landscapes in Europe.

But in the end it has been another triumph for developers, another part of unspoilt countryside lost forever.

A thousand new golf courses are built around the world and most of them look – are designed to look – remarkably similar to one another.

By contrast, the scenery, wildlife habitat and ecosystems that are about to be destroyed are increasingly rare and under pressure.

Trumpland, and the many golf courses of Aberdeenshire will, according to Rita Stephen, “secure our long-term vision”. But what a sad, sterile, money-led vision that is.”



February 2010

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