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Trump criticises windfarm application near golf resort

Billionaire Donald Trump raised concerns about plans for an offshore windfarm off the coast of his Aberdeenshire development.

A planning application for an 11-turbine wind farm off Aberdeen Bay was submitted on Friday. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is a £150m joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

In a statement, Mr Trump said: “I am very disappointed that Scotland may allow the development of a wind power plant directly off Aberdeen’s beautiful coastline.

“When I first became involved with our billion-pound development – golf course construction is weeks away from completion with a planned opening before July 1 2012 – I was repeatedly promised, as an incentive for us to go forward and proceed with this project, that wind turbines would not be destroying and distorting the magnificent coastline.

“Unfortunately, despite these prior assurances that the wind project would not proceed, I am now learning that this issue has again raised its ugly head.

“Many places, such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts and numerous others, have totally rejected these so-called wind farms entirely because they are unsightly and noisy. No matter how far out they are sited, their terrible screeching sounds are audible to both people and wildlife.

“Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, with its greatest asset being its magnificent coastline, a coastline known for its great beauty throughout the entire world.

“Speaking both selfishly and as somebody who loves Scotland, the birthplace of my mother, I hope that the mistake of building these massive and visually destructive power plants is avoided. Don’t be misled. Your coastline will be forever ruined. Your wildlife will be devastated. And your valuable tax revenues wasted.”

The windfarm planning application seeks permission for work to start on its construction and operation. Mr Trump’s under-construction golf course is on the Menie Estate near Aberdeen on the North Sea coast, parts of which are designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

David Rodger, spokesman for the windfarm project, said: “We have been in regular contact with the Trump Organisation and acknowledge the concern raised.

“We have made a strong case for the environmental and economic benefits of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre as a centre of global research and development for offshore wind and as such it is of strategic importance to Aberdeen and Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions.

“The project is now subject to a formal consultation and decision-making process.”