UK
12/11/2013 07:18 GMT

Donald Trump Fights Against Scottish Windfarm In Court

Donald Trump during a press conference at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland ahead of viewing developments at his planned luxury golf resort.
PA
Donald Trump during a press conference at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland ahead of viewing developments at his planned luxury golf resort.

Donald Trump's legal bid to stop an offshore windfarm project backed by the Scottish government ruining the views from his luxury golf resort has hit the courts.

The American billionaire has threatened to abandon plans to finish off his resort with a large hotel, holiday homes and a residential village if the 11-turbine project off the Aberdeenshire coast goes ahead.

Trump was further irritated when the proposed height of the turbines was increased last August to nearly 200 metres. The Apprentice host previously warned that the turbines would "destroy" Scotland.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond helped the billionaire in 2008 when he "called in" Trump's planning application for a resort at the Menie Estate near Balmedie for review after it was initially thrown out by local councillors amid concerns over the damage it could have on the local environment.

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However, Trump later hit out at Salmond's backing for the 11-turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, branding it "a purely political decision".

Trump went on to describe Salmond as "a man whose obsession with obsolete wind technology will destroy the magnificence and beauty of Scotland".

He added: "All over the world, they are being abandoned, but in Scotland they are being built."

The hearing is taking place at the Court of Session in Edinburgh and is set to go on for four days. The turbines will be able to power 68,000 homes, according to the developers.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "The Scottish government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector. It is not appropriate for the Scottish government to comment on ongoing legal proceedings."

Lang Banks, director of environmental group WWF Scotland, said: "It's depressing to think that Donald Trump has nothing better to do than use his vast wealth to try and undermine Scotland's aim of becoming a cleaner, greener, job-creating nation.

"We hope that, in the end, the court agrees that giving the go-ahead to this development was the right decision.

"Scotland is home to a quarter of Europe's offshore wind resource. Studies estimate that Scotland's offshore wind industry could create 28,000 jobs by 2020 and contribute over £7bn of investment to the economy.

"It would be a great pity if Donald Trump was in any way responsible for frustrating Scotland's ambition to generate clean power and green jobs."