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Trump: I’ll walk away from my £1bn resort  

Credit:  By Ryan Crighton and Lindsay Watling, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 18 January 2012 ~~

Donald Trump last night threatened to walk away from his £1billion north-east golf resort if the Scottish Government allows a windfarm to be built nearby.

The US billionaire told the Press and Journal he will not spend “another penny” on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire until he knows for sure the offshore development at Aberdeen bay is moved elsewhere.

The threat came after the latest phase of Mr Trump’s multimillion-pound golf development was backed by councillors at a heated meeting yesterday.

Members approved the application for a permanent clubhouse on the Menie Estate at Balmedie.

Hours after the meeting, Trump International announced all further aspects of the development – including the hotel – will be halted until the government reaches a final decision on vattenfall and AREG’S £150million application for 11 turbines off the Aberdeen coast.

The structures, to be built between Balmedie and Blackdog in Aberdeenshire, would be visible from the championship links.

The American previously told First Minister Alex Salmond the turbines are “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible”.

And he earlier warned that he may reconsider the rest of the resort – which includes a luxury £250million hotel, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses – if the windfarm goes ahead.

Last night Mr Trump confirmed that, if the turbines are built, he is off.

“I have spent close to £100million to get to this stage,” he said.

“When I said it was going to be the greatest golf course in the world, people laughed. But I have stuck to that promise and I have delivered what the critics are already calling the world’s greatest course.”

Mr Trump claims the turbines will “ruin” Aberdeen.

“The last thing I would do if they go ahead would be build a hotel looking at them,” he added.

“I have another £900million to put into that site. But I will not invest another penny if an industrial plant is built nearby.”

Mr Trump has written to Energy Minister Fergus Ewing formally requesting a public inquiry be held into the plans – a decision the government said would be down to ministers.

“These structures will be higher than Trump Tower – I don’t think the people of Aberdeen know what is going to happen,” said the US property tycoon.

“They are going to loom over Aberdeen like an ugly dragon and ruin the beautiful coastline.”

The move came after plans for the clubhouse won approval at the Formar-tine area committee. Planning consent was granted in an 8-2 vote at the Kirk Centre at Ellon amid dramatic scenes.

Heated debate broke out after Councillor Debra Storr launched a scathing attack on the design of the clubhouse, describing it as “laughable” and reminiscent of a “Victorian lunatic asylum”.

She “pitied” the architects involved in the project adding that Mr Trump had no taste – which prompted heckling from the US businessman’s development director, George Sorial.

“This is all about trying to maximise the viewsfrom the clubhouse across the grounds,” said Councillor Storr – supported by Councillor Paul Johnston – before being reprimanded by colleagues for “targeting the applicant”.

Councillor Gillian Owen said she was happy the design incorporated elements from Macleod, formerly Menie House, while Councillor Allan Hendry hailed it as a development that would put the north-east “firmly on the golfing tourism map”.

Menie Estate resident David Milne, a long-time opponent of the Trump project, said last night it was no great surprise that the “hideous erection that is planned to be a golf clubhouse was rubber stamped through to receive planning permission”.

He claimed it would draw tourists “as a laughing stock and a monument to bad taste coupled with inappropriate design”.

Meanwhile, US chatshow host Rosie O’Donnell has joined forces with those campaigning against the Trump project.

The star – who has had a long-running feud with the businessman – is hosting a screening of campaign documentary You’ve Been Trumped in Chicago.

Source:  By Ryan Crighton and Lindsay Watling, The Press and Journal, www.pressandjournal.co.uk 18 January 2012

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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