Documents show Trump golf course damaged protected sand dunes

This Friday Oct. 6, 2017 file photo shows a view of MacLeod House, a sixteen-room boutique hotel, at the Trump International golf course in Balmedie, Scotland. –The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Documents show that U.S. President Donald Trump’s family business has “destroyed the vast majority” of an environmentally sensitive area of sand dunes near its golf course north of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Scottish Natural Heritage, which is responsible for the management and monitoring of sites of special scientific interest, has found that construction of the golf course has “led to direct loss of” as much as 68 hectares (168 acres) of mobile sand dunes protected under Scottish law. The destruction occurred despite a personal commitment by Trump to minimize the damage when Scottish authorities granted permission for the project.

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The documents were obtained under a freedom of information request by Bob Ward, the policy director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.