Donald Trump has warned First Minister Alex Salmond that the £60 million he has already spent building the “world’s greatest golf course” in Scotland is being jeopardised by plans for a giant offshore wind farm, less than two miles from his championship links at the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire.
The American tycoon, whose organisation has already vowed to fight the proposed wind farm “on every possible front,” has told the First Minister he wants the plans to be rejected or the “useless eyesore” to be relocated away from his luxury golf resort.
And in a personal letter to Mr Salmond he says: “If not you should ask yourself if any other international developer would ever risk investing in Scotland after my experience and all the promises that were made to me.”
Plans for the £200m offshore demonstration wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast have now been formally submitted for approval to Marine Scotland.
The 11-turbine development, being spearheaded by Swedish electricity company Vattenfall, subsea company Technip and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, will stretch from Aberdeen to an area off Blackdog on the Aberdeenshire coast, an estimated 1.5 miles from the championship links course at Menie. The renewable energy scheme is being backed by Scottish Enterprise, the renewable industry and local business leaders.
But Mr Trump wants it blocked. And he states in his letter to Mr Salmond: “I object in the strongest possible terms to the current location of the wind turbines as proposed by Vattenfall, which are only 2 km from my championship golf course and directly opposite Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.
“Its adverse visual impact on my development and the beautiful Aberdeen coastline would be disastrous and environmentally responsible.”
The tycoon continues: “I will soon have invested approximately £60 million of my own money which is not a public subsidy unlike the funding for Vattenfall’s turbines – to create a world class golf resort under my global brand.
“After enduring the expense and many years of complex planning procedures, the championship course is nearing completion, well ahead of schedule.
“Unfortunately, instead of celebrating the start of something valuable and beautiful for Scotland, this ugly cloud is hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline.
“My objection to the wind farm should come as no surprise to anyone because I have consistently warned of the adverse consequences it would have on my development and on Aberdeen.
“As I stated five years ago, I would not have gone forward with wind turbines off our coastline and was repeatedly promised, as an incentive for us to proceed with my project, that wind turbines would not be destroying and distorting Aberdeen’s magnificent coastline.
Mr Trump concludes: “In short, this wind farm should not be built, or alternatively, relocated.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Mr Trump’s letter refers to the position five years ago – before the current administration took office – and therefore we have no knowledge of what was said then.
“The Menie application was determined properly, according to Scotland’s planning law.”