Donald Trump has accused the Scottish Government of reneging on a deal to keep a development of “hideous” wind turbines away from his new golf course in Aberdeenshire, in a fresh assault on the SNP’s policy to back renewables in Scotland.
The billionaire property developer claims in a new submission to the Scottish Parliament that had he known about the proposals to build a series of turbines off the coast of his new development, “I would never have built in Scotland”.
In a seven-page letter to the economic, energy and tourist committee, which he will address in person next week, he claims the proposed development will “destroy the beauty I invested in”, saying the plans were equivalent to slapping a 1960s apartment block on the top of Edinburgh’s Arthur’s Seat.
Plans to erect turbines across Scotland would ruin the countryside, he said, adding that nations such as Ireland were “thrilled” by Scotland’s decision to “commit financial suicide”.
Mr Trump’s attack focuses on plans to erect 11 turbines off the coast of his Menie estate. A decision on planning permission is expected later this year.
In his letter to MSPs, Mr Trump claims: “Simply put, we had a deal and I delivered. Do not now take away from our agreement by destroying the beauty that I invested in. I came to Scotland with an original idea and Scotland listened, at the very highest ministerial level, and encouraged me with overwhelming promises.
“We were told that military radar installations and shipping lane concerns near the Aberdeen harbour would always hide these hideous turbines far away from our site.
“We were assured… that the industrial power plants would not be visible from the shore.”
Mr Trump added: “If I had known about the current wind turbine proposals, I would never have built in Scotland”
However, that claim is challenged by documents from the time of Mr Trump’s purchase of the land, which suggest he knew there could be wind farms built near his land.
An e-mail from Scottish Development International from 2006, prior to Mr Trump’s purchase, shows officials discussing the matter. The e-mail declares: “The client [Mr Trump] feels that the offshore wind farm proposal would negatively impact their own development, such that it may well be, in his words, the ‘deal killer’.”
The 2006 proposals were not the same as those being proposed now, but campaigners last night said the e-mail showed Mr Trump was wrong to claim he had been left in the dark.
Author and campaigner Andy Wightman said: “He knew full well that this project was in the planning stages before he bought the Menie Estate. Nevertheless, he went full speed ahead, knowing the offshore wind project was to subject to the same process of planning consent as his own golf course.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding