Billionaire Donald Trump will continue his legal battle against an offshore wind farm project which, he claims, will damage his Scottish golf resort.
The US tycoon lost a legal challenge to the experimental 11-turbine development after taking the Scottish Government to the Court of Session in November to oppose the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay.
A petition lodged by Trump International Golf Club Scotland and the Trump Organisation asked a judge to rule that the Scottish Government’s approval of the wind farm was unlawful and should be overturned.
New York-based Mr Trump threatened to halt further investment in his £100million resort at the Menie Estate near Balmedie if the project went ahead.
In a written ruling issued today, Lord Doherty dismissed Mr Trump’s petition for a judicial review.
During last November’s hearing, Mr Trump’s legal team, led by Gordon Steele, QC, described the wind farm proposal as “criminal,” claiming that EOWDC did not have an operator’s licence.
His attack came after another judge, Lady Clark, ruled that Scottish ministers were wrong to allow a wind farm in Shetland in similar circumstances.
Lady Clark’s decision is under appeal and the Scottish ministers insist that giving the go-ahead to the Aberdeen Bay proposal did not breach the law.
The backing for the wind farm came in spite of a planning objection by Mr Trump, who complained that guests would not want to stay in “an industrial park.”
The golf resort was given planning permission after a four week public inquiry in 2008.
The bid for a judicial review criticised the Scottish ministers for their decision last March not to hold a public inquiry into the wind farm.
Mr Trump’s counsel argued that, because the wind farm was receiving public money through Aberdeen City Council and the European Union, there was an appearance of bias, because the SNP want to increase sustainable energy production.
The Scottish ministers denied that, as decision makers, they had any financial stake in the outcome.
Lord Doherty also ruled that it was clear that the Scottish ministers were fully aware of the experimental nature of the wind farm scheme, dismissing another objection from the Trump side.
Following the ruling, the Trump Organisation said the turbine development is doomed, stating: “Today’s decision has not altered our unwavering commitment to protect our investment in Scotland.
“We are reviewing Lord Doherty’s decision and will pursue the legal options available to us.
“Communities worldwide continue to challenge the destructive proliferation of wind turbines and we will remain a fierce opponent at the forefront of this battle.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman welcomed the judge’s ruling, describing the EOWDC project as “important.”
Green MSP Patrick Harvie, said: “Donald Trump is a man who actually peddles the paranoid fantasy that climate change is a communist conspiracy. Scotland can’t afford to waste another second on him.”
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