I received a complaint yesterday that access through the Menie estate to the sand dunes and beach had been blocked. and immediately investigated. I found that gates into the estate were closed and locked at all the main accesses.
Many local residents were worried that they would no longer be allowed access to the estate and beach.
Over the past year or so, gates had been erected at the main accesses into the Menie Estate but these have usually been left open. However, yesterday (Saturday) the main access to the SSSI dunes at the north of the estate was
restricted and all the gates were closed and locked. This makes accessing the beach and dunes harder for pedestrians and impossible for cyclists and horse riders - and all these groups are entitled to access under the
Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Local residents are now concerned that the access to the estate grounds, sand dunes and beach that they have always enjoyed is being denied.
A previous attempt to discourage access by erecting signs warning of guard dogs was twarted when the Estate was ordered to remove these signs in order to comply with the "right to roam" legislation. But despite Donald Trump himself promising at the Public Local Inquiry to obey the law access has now been blocked.
This increases fears that the Trump development will be a closed gated community and access to the beach and sand dunes will be restricted to guests and residents on the estate.
I have referred the matter to Aberdeenshire Council's Access Officer. I am confident that this latest breach of the legislation will be dealt with as efficiently and promptly as the previous attempt. Hopefully access for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will be restored in the next few days.
View Larger MapThe six access restrictions are:
987207 Green chain across track to beach
974200 New gate locked (chain and padlock)
972206 New gate locked (chain and padlock)
974202 Existing gate locked (chain and padlock)
985200 Old gate locked (chain and padlock) (permeable to pedestrians)
982198 Existing gate locked (chain and multiple padlocks)