Donald Trump’s dream of developing a £750 million golf resort in Scotland suffered a devastating blow today when Scottish Government Minsters gave the green light to the “monstrous” offshore wind farm planned for the doorstep of his Menie estate in Aberdeenshire.
The billionaire tycoon has constantly warned he will pull the plug on any further investments on the stretch of coast where he has created the “greatest golf course in the world” should the 11 turbine scheme get the go ahead.
Last year he told The Scotsman he would have walked away from investing in the Menie estate development had he not been given “assurances” by both former Labour First Minister Jack McConnell and First Minister Alex Salmond that the demonstrator wind farm within one and a half miles of his championship golf course would never be built.
But today, in a move which could sound the death knell for the hotel, housing and leisure developments at Menie, the Scottish Government announced consent for the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay.
Fergus Ewing, the Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister, said: “Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland; an opportunity to build up new industries and to deliver on our ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction targets.
“The Scottish Government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a potential generation of over £7 billion to Scotland’s economy and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.
“The proposed European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre will give the industry the ability to test and demonstrate new technologies in order to accelerate its growth. The Centre will also generate up to 100 MW, enough electricity to meet the electricity needs of almost half the homes in Aberdeen City. It secures Aberdeen’s place as the energy capital of Europe.”
Mr Ewing continued: “In consenting this application I have put in place a number of conditions to mitigate a range of impacts.
“My role was in determination of assessing the offshore elements of this development in relation to the Electricity Act consent. An application for a marine licence which is also required for the development is under consideration and will be determined in due course. There is another consent relating to the Blackdog sub-station development which is also required is a matter for Aberdeenshire Council.”
A Government spokesman said 465 letters of supprt for the project had been received with only 148 representations objecting to the proposal were received.