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Trump calls for public inquiry into plans for windfarm near resort  

Credit:  By Ryan Crighton, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 8 December 2011 ~~

Donald Trump has asked the Scottish Government to hold a public inquiry into plans to build an offshore windfarm near his Scottish resort.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is a £150million joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

But the 11 turbines, being built between Balmedie and Blackdog in Aberdeenshire, would be visible from the Menie Estate, where Mr Trump has built his championship links.

The American has previously told First Minister Alex Salmond the turbines are “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible” and has warned he may reconsider the rest of the resort – a luxury £250million hotel, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses – if the project goes ahead.

Last night the billionaire wrote to Energy Minister Fergus Ewing formally requesting that a hearing be held in public.

The letter, sent by Ann Faulds, a partner at legal firm Dundas and Wilson, states: “A public inquiry into the proposed development is necessary to explore all material considerations and to ensure a proper evidential base to inform the Scottish ministers’ determination of the application.

“In particular the potential economic impact of the proposed development on my client’s development, and by extension the regional and Scottish economy, has not been addressed in the environmental statement submitted in respect of the application.”

Mr Trump’s son – Don jnr – added last night: “I am not sure the people of the north-east have grasped the impact this development is going to have on their coastline.

“I don’t think the public realise how close to the shore they are going to be, so I think there needs to be a hearing.”

A spokeswoman for Marine Scotland said: “We have not received the letter yet, but once it is received it will be considered and handled appropriately.”

She added:“any decision to hold a public inquiry would be for ministers to consider.”

Project spokesman David Rodger said: “The project partners have noted the objection made by the Trump Organisation and we will look at it carefully along with other comments on the proposal, including the nearly 400 letters of support.

“Having submitted our application to Marine Scotland on August 1, we are part of a formal planning process in which we have full confidence to fairly determine our proposal.”

Meanwhile, the Press and Journal understands that the Trump Organisation will bring in Colin Boyd QC – Scotland’s former Lord Advocate – to represent it at a council meeting next week.

The Formartine area committee is being reconvened on Tuesday to discuss the firm’s plans for a temporary clubhouse next to the championship links.

Councillors had been due to discuss the plans on Tuesday, but deferred the application because s ome members felt they had not had enough time to consider the planning report.

Last night a councillor on a neighbouring committee said the delay – which came after Trump representatives flew in from New York – sent out the “wrong message” about Scotland.

Buchan member Albert Howie said: “I think the Trump people have every right to feel aggrieved. It is quite pathetic.”

Source:  By Ryan Crighton, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 8 December 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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