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Wind farm decision government officials ‘did not visit Donald Trump golf resort’

Government officials deciding whether to back an offshore wind farm did not visit Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort, the Court of Session has been told.

The US tycoon is attempting to overturn the Scottish government’s decision to approve the project.

His legal team has claimed the lack of a site visit could be seen as a sign of bias in the decision-making process.

However, ministers said the decision to approve the scheme was lawful.

The £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) scheme consists of 11 wind turbines.

The aim is to generate enough power for tens of thousands of homes.

Mr Trump argues the turbines would spoil the sea view for guests at his Menie resort.

Gordon Steele QC, leading Mr Trump’s legal team, said: “Why was it that all the other viewpoints were visited and yet nothing was done in relation to our site, a site approved in the national interest and in relation to which there has been an objection from us?

“What impression does it leave on the fair-minded informed observer, that one, if not the single main objector, to this proposal does not have the site visited?”

But James Mure QC, for the Scottish government, said of allegations of bias in the decision-making process: “When fairly read in context, nothing here would raise in the observer’s mind any natural suspicion of apparent bias.”

Scottish ministers argue the judicial review petition should be dismissed.

The case is expected to continue until Friday, with a decision at a later date.