Today planning permission to stabilise the SSSI mobile sand dunes at Menie was granted. There are a few details to be sorted out so Trump "Work will start tomorrow" is the usual bluster. But once those details are cleared, this will be first step towards the destruction of the SSSI. The designation is because of the geomorphology - the scientific interest is because this is a highly mobile sand dune system. If the development does not proceed - and Trump now says he needs the houses of four of my constituents in order to do the development - then rewinding the works will be difficult. The planning permission talks about 16 lorries a day and we still do not know the extent of the earthworks.
So visit the dunes now before works start. You will shortly not be able a to see the wild and beautiful place in its natural state.
Paul Johnston and I moved to defer the decision pending independent legal advice. The Council's position seems to have changed over the last few days and we were told that they had taken independent advice. But we do not know the details of that advice - nor whether, as for CPOs (see Sunday Times), Ann Faulds representing Trump had also been offering her advice. Certainly Ms Faulds was there yesterday so it seems as if Trump were more worried about the legal position than the environmental impacts.