The second links will be named the MacLeod course after Donald Trump's mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, who was born and raised in Scotland before emigrating to New York. The former estate home on property - currently a 16-room boutique hotel - is also called the Trump MacLeod House & Lodge. Although the timetable for construction has yet to be made public, the layout was designed by Dr. Martin Hawtree, the architect of the first course.
Conservationists blame the original links for damaging the dunes system at nearby Foveran Links, an official site of special scientific interest (SSSI). They believe the council's decision will likely have a profound impact on Foveran’s SSSI status, considering its unusual shifting sands and diverse plant life.
“This decision gives a green light to the Trump organisation to further vandalise and destroy Scotland’s natural heritage,” Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, told the newspaper. “Aberdeenshire council and the Scottish government have ignored the objections of Scottish Natural Heritage about potential further damage to world-famous sand dunes that are supposed to be protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, but which have already been partially destroyed by the building of the first golf course.”
The addition of a second golf course likely paves the way for Trump's original intentions to build a large golf resort community. He pledged to create up to "6,000 jobs by building a five-star hotel with 450 rooms, shops, a sports complex, timeshare flats, two golf courses and housing estates."
Trump had hoped the first course would attract major events, but so far, the European Tour, which runs the Scottish Open, and the R&A, which oversees The Open Championship, have shied away from Trump properties as venues. The Associated Press reports that the property has lost money every year since it opened.
Building courses on or near SSSI-designated sites in Scotland is a long and often risky proposition for developers. Mike Keiser, the founder of Bandon Dunes and Sand Valley, had his attempts to build Coul Links, a new links near Dornoch, rejected by the Scottish Government after heavy protest.