Donald Trump has tabled plans to build hundreds of houses and nearly 2,000 holiday homes and lodges to reaffirm the initial vision for his Aberdeenshire golf resort.
The latest move follows an announcement last week that the US businessman was progressing with long-delayed proposals to expand his hotel and leisure development at Menie Estate.
There has been some doubt as to whether the housing element of the masterplan for the north-east coastal site – first unveiled almost 10 years ago – would ever see the light of day.
But the submission of new planning applications will be viewed as another major step towards completion of the project, and will also be seen as a vote of confidence in the region.
It is also noteworthy due to Mr Trump’s previous claim that he wouldn’t “spend another penny” on the site until plans for an offshore wind test centre off the Aberdeen coast were abandoned.
Documents lodged with Aberdeenshire Council set out plans for 850 residential properties and 1,900 “leisure accommodation units” with “ancillary commercial development”.
The scale of the plans would effectively create a new village along the coast between Balmedie and Newburgh, but would be built in a series of phases over a number of years.
Last night, Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Golf Links Scotland, said: “’We are ready to take forward the other phases of the project and require a flexible development plan to meet the needs and demands of the current market.”
Last week, Mr Trump submitted several other applications to the local council – including plans for a 400-capacity ballroom and banquet hall and a 30-room staff accommodation building.
There are also plans lodged for MacLeod Course, the second 18-hole course on the site.
The original vision for the region included two championship golf courses, a clubhouse, a five-star hotel, a 10,000sq ft conference centre, 950 holiday homes, 36 guest villas, 500 residential homes and a golfing academy.
Trump International Golf Links, Scotland, opened in July 2012, and is now in its third full playing season.
The hotel, which was granted five-star status by VisitScotland, opened in winter 2013, while a new clubhouse development is due to open in May.
But the Trump Organisation has been locked in a lengthy legal battle in an effort to thwart the £230million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) – with the case now working its way through the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Lawyers acting for the American businessman suffered a setback in February last year when Lord Docherty rejected their argument that the Scottish Government showed “bias” in granting approval for the £230million scheme.
In a written judgment, the Court of Session judge also dismissed claims there should have been a public inquiry into the EOWDC.
Lord Doherty said the claim from the Trump camp that ministers made up their minds on the wind energy project to suit the SNP’s renewable aspirations for Scotland was “wholly without merit”.
Mr Trump has insisted, however, that the court challenge will continue “as long as necessary”.
It is understood he is prepared to take the battle to the UK Supreme Court and then to the European courts at Brussels if that fails.
The 11-turbine EOWDC is due to connect to the National Grid in 2017, two years later than originally forecast.
A spokesman for Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Limited, the company behind the EOWDC, said the project partners are continuing with the plans and remain intent on seeing the renewables scheme “come to fruition”.