LATEST: U.S. property tycoon Donald Trump has moved closer to securing his luxury golf resort in Scotland - after the country's first minister stepped in to save the project. The Apprentice star had hoped to built "the best golf course in the world" in Aberdeenshire, which would house an eight storey five-star hotel, two championship golf courses and 950 timeshare holiday apartments - but the proposal was rejected by Aberdeenshire Council on environmental grounds. On Tuesday (04Dec07), it was reported Trump was in talks to secure a plot in Northern Ireland for the $1 billion (GBP500 million) development, but Scotland's Alex Salmon has invoked rarely-used powers to take control of Trump's application. The Scottish executive has taken over from Aberdeenshire council under the 1997 Towns and Country Planning Act, as the case "raises issues of importance that require consideration at a national level." Neil Hobday, Trump's project director, confirmed the businessman was "impressed" by the body's intervention in the case. Salmon, who heads the executive, was reported to be furious when Trump's proposal was rejected last week (ends02Dec07).