Councillors have rejected a call to rule out the possibility of using powers to force residents on the site of Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf development to sell up.
A full meeting of the local authority voted not to make a decision on Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) without a full report.
The Trump Organisation’s £1billion vision for the Menie Estate includes two golf courses, a hotel and housing.
The firm’s bid to buy four more properties in the development area has been met with resistance from the residents.
Last week Councillor Martin Ford tabled a motion for the authority to vote against the possibility of using CPOs to force the homeowners out.
But despite most councillors agreeing such powers should not be used, the authority voted against ruling them out altogether.
Ahead of the meeting, one of the residents, David Milne submitted a petition with 15,000 signatures gathered by protest group ‘Tripping Up Trump’ before making an impassioned plea to councillors.
Following the decision he said he felt “anger mixed with fury” and accused Aberdeenshire Council of having “no conscience and no will-power.”
He added: “If they didn’t agree with CPOs, then they should have agreed with the motion or stand up in the very near future and say that publicly.”
To watch extended interviews with the residents on Menie Estate click here>
Sarah Malone of the Trump Organisation said: “It was the only logical outcome to a motion that was tabled by a leading opponent to this development.
“For the last few years the Trump Organisation has been following due process, following the planning procedures. We are nowhere near the place where we need to be discussing Compulsory Purchase Orders.
“The Trump Organisation has not requested that the council consider CPOs at this moment. Councillor Ford has deliberately tabled a motion to cause anxiety and unrest with the neighbours that we are currently negotiating with.”
To watch extended interviews with Sarah Malone and Aberdeenshire Councillors click here>
Councillors arriving at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre were greeted to the sight of around 100 protestors waving banners and placards.
Mr Milne and farmer Michael Forbes have both rejected offers of 15% over market value for their homes, as well as the chance to buy one of the new properties on the estate at cost price and a lifetime membership of the facilities.
The Trump Organisation have asked in the past for the council to consider using their CPO powers but have withdrawn their request while they say negotiations with the four home owners can continue.
Michael Forbes, another resident facing the threat of eviction, said he was not surprised by the outcome.
He added: "They are complete cowards, I'm not surprised at all, it's just a morning wasted. There's still a dirty cloud hanging over our heads, but we're not finished yet.
Councillor Martin Ford, who put forward the defeated motion, said: "This is a failure of leadership by the council big time and it's very disappointing indeed.”