Image from the Guardian
Celebrities buying plots of land to block developments is the new new. Last year people opposed to the third runway at Heathrow Airport bought up a plot in the middle of the runway in an attempt to thwart it. Now opponents to Donald Trump's golf course in Aberdeen Scotland are trying the same trick.
Trump received planning permission to build a billion pound golf course on the Scottish coastline. Smack dab in the middle of an unspoilt natural habitat. But one lone farmer refused to sell: "I'll never, ever sell to that loudmouth bully. I used to be proud to be a Scotsman, but I'm going to take both of my kilts out and burn them after this."
Image from Tripping up Trump
A new group, Tripping Up Trump has popped up and they are buying an acre of the hold-out farmer's land. This will make ownership of the site much more complicated for Trump. Calling it "The Bunker," after the sand trap that many golfers end up in, they believe that the development cannot go ahead in its current form without access to this plot.
New "owners" include comedians, mountain climbers, and anyone else who wants to sign up and register their name as a co-owner. David Puttnam, director of Local Hero, just joined up, as have 1,000 others.
Tripping up Trump is sure Trump will seek a compulsory purchase order from the local council and believe their mass ownership of part of the land will make it legally and politically difficult for Aberdeenshire council to agree to the order since many people will be evicted from their homes if the course is built there.
Image from daily record
He already has permission to build a five-star, 450 room luxury hotel, two golf courses, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses. Trump said the disputed land only affects the last phase of the resort. The owners of three of the five plots Trump needs are willing to sell but Forbes, the hold-out farmer and another landowner refuse.
Trump has a very particular opinion of the hold-out farmer, Michael Forbes: "Forbes is someone who I would love to see clean up his property. It is a slum and a pigsty. His barn is rusty, rotten and falling down."
Of course the feeling is mutual....Calling him a "New York clown", Forbes on Trump: "Trump lost the battle for public opinion long ago, and he's now lost any chance of bulldozing our homes."