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Trump in turbine legal threat

Donald Trump has promised to mount a legal challenge to the Scottish Government’s decision to approve a controversial off-shore wind farm near his golf resort in the north-east.

The American tycoon has announced he is putting his plans for the Trump International Golf Links at Balmedie Dunes, near Aberdeen, on hold until the development is stopped.

Mr Trump’s continued opposition did not prevent a number of businesses and environmental groups welcoming the decision by ministers to give the go ahead to the £230 million, 11 turbine European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

The project is to be sited one-and-a-quarter miles off the Aberdeenshire coast. Its primary purpose is to test offshore technology, but it will be able to generate enough energy to meet the needs of more than 49,000 homes, almost half of the homes in Aberdeen.

Mr Trump is convinced it will spoil the views from his £750m golf development on the Menie Estate. He still has a hotel, 950 holiday homes and 500 houses, and another course planned for the site.

Mr Trump said: “This was a purely political decision. As dictated by [First Minister] Alex Salmond, a man whose obsession with obsolete wind technology will destroy the magnificence and beauty of Scotland. Likewise, tourism, Scotland’s biggest industry, will be ruined.”

He said he was willing to spend whatever it took to ensure “these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines” were never constructed. “All over the world they are being abandoned, but in Scotland they are being built. We will put our future plans in Aberdeen on hold, as will many others, until this ridiculous proposal is defeated,” he added.

“Likewise, we will be bringing a lawsuit within the allocated period of time to stop what will definitely be the destruction of Aberdeen and Scotland itself.”

Ministers received 465 public representations in support of the project with 148 against

Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “The Government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a potential generation of more than £7 billion to Scotland’s economy and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.”

Robert Collier, chief executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, added: “The development of the EOWDC will enable the region to extend its reach with regard to offshore wind, further enhancing our renewable energy expertise and drawing upon our strong engineering and technology skills base.”

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Offshore wind will be a huge part of our energy future and this scheme is a big step forward.”

Dr Sam Gardner, senior climate change policy officer at WWF Scotland, said: “Giving the go-ahead to this offshore wind test centre is the right decision, demonstrating that no amount of bluster from US billionaires such as Donald Trump will hold Scotland back from becoming a cleaner, greener, job-creating nation.”

Trump hosts the US television version of The Apprentice where he uses the catchphrase “you’re fired” for budding entrepreneurs who fail to make the grade.