Alex Massie

Trumpton-on-the-North-Sea Latest: The Donald Can Still Buy Your House

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It had been expected - according to press reports admittedly - that Aberdeenshire Council would lift the threat of compulsory purchase orders being used to evict four families from their homes to pacify Donald Trump's demand for yet more land for his golf course development on the Menie Estate, near Aberdeen.

Well, so much for expectations. Alas. By 57 votes to six the council rejected that proposal, claiming, according to the BBC that it would be "inappropriate to reject the use of CPOs completely without a full report." While it's good that the Council hasn't yet endorsed compulsory purchase orders, it's depressing that they remain on the table at all and one must fear that, when or if push comes to shove, the council will eventually approve them. 

The development already sprawls over 1400 acres of coastline, but Trump now says he needs more land on the edge of the development even if this means evicting residents from their homes.

The principle of the matter, however, is entirely clear: this is a private, not public development and it's intolerable that defiant residents should be thrown from their own homes simply because failing to do so would inconvenience a tycoon. Another report is entirely unecessary since it cannot possibly be expected to alter the principles of the matter in any fashion whatsoever.

Perhaps the homeowners are being unreasonable in rejecting Trump's allegedly generous offers. But it is their right to be unreasonable and the council should have recognised and indeed endorsed that right today.

Previous Trumpton commentary here.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.