Donald Trump’s north-east golf course is poised to undergo a £150 million expansion with housing and hotel accommodation being built alongside the green.
Plans have today been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council for 500 homes, which will be built within the Trump International Golf Links estate at Menie, near Balmedie.
The development – which will be known as The Trump Estate – will also include a residents’ gym, an equestrian centre and space for shops and offices.
The homes – some of which will be mansions sold for “several million pounds” – have been described in planning documents as “the most luxurious in the area”.
Eric Trump, who leads the Trump Organisation with his brother Don Jun following his father’s election to the White House, last night said the project has already attracted interest.
Speaking from Trump headquarters in New York, he said: “We own a truly phenomenal property along the coast, and remain fully committed to our long-term vision for the site.
“The timing is now right for us to release the next phase of investment and the significant economic benefits this brings.
“Initial interest to our plans has been incredible and, subject to detailed planning approval, we are aiming to break ground next year.”
An independent economic assessment has been carried out, which estimates the development will boost the region’s economy by more than £250m.
It is understood the project will create 268 permanent jobs, along with 2,000 in construction while the buildings are being built.
Donald Trump first applied for permission to create what he has termed as “the world’s greatest golf course” at Menie in 2006 but Aberdeenshire Council rejected the proposal.
The £100m application was later called in by the Scottish Government, and ministers granted it in November 2008.
The tycoon was also given approval to build 2,750 homes and an eight-storey hotel on the 1,500 acres of land at that time, providing he created the golf course first.
Bosses at the estate say that the fresh proposal represents phase two of the overall £750m scheme.
However, plans for the eight-storey hotel have been scrapped, with an initial 50 cottages instead being built to board holidaymakers.
The change has been influenced by market fluctuations following the oil downturn which has hammered the north-east economy.
Sarah Malone, executive vice-president of Trump International Golf Links Scotland, said the proposal had been years in the making and had been encouraged by recent local improvements such as the AWPR.
She said: “After extensive market research we are bringing forward a suite of luxury homes and five-star hotel cottages which we believe meet the needs and demands of consumers today.
“Improvements to the region’s infrastructure and recovery signs in the economy make this the right time to drive forward this next major phase of development.”
The development has been inspired by Aberdeenshire villages such as Monymusk, and new homeowners will be given “preferential access” to the US president’s golf course.
The 500-home settlement will be rolled out in eight stages over the next three to five years, as bosses gauge which building types are most popular.
There will be two to five-bedroom cottages, townhouses and mansions with property prices beginning at £295,000 and going up into the millions.
The top end properties have been named Balmoral, while others have titles such as Ythan, Forvie and Leighton.
One block will feature shop space on the ground floor, offices above that and flats on the top floor.
Richard Marsh, a leading economist at 4-Consulting, was commissioned to undertake a review of the proposal.
He estimated that the building phase will support nearly 2,000 jobs across the region, with nearly 300 permanent positions following.
And he calculated that the development would strengthen the area’s economy by more than £250m.
Mr Marsh said: “This is a major investment which has the potential to support thousands of jobs and help to broaden and diversify the region’s economy.”
Aberdeenshire Council will consider the plans in the coming months.