American billionaire Donald Trump is on a collision course with wind farm developers who are planning to erect a giant wind farm only 4km from Trump’s Doonbeg golf club on the Clare coast.
This follows Clare Coastal Windpower lodging fresh plans with Clare Co Council for a nine-turbine wind farm, with turbines nearly 6m higher than Dublin’s Spire.
The lodging of the plans follows Mr Trump declaring on his well-publicised trip to Clare in May that the council had “killed” the prospect of wind-turbines being erected near Doonbeg.
This followed the council invalidating in March previous plans by Clare Coastal Windpower Ltd for a wind farm at the same site.
However, the firm has now re-lodged its plans for its 125m-turbine wind farm 2km from Doonbeg village and 4km from the Greg Norman-designed links course.
Documents lodged by the firm with the council show that the wind farm will be visible from Trump’s golf resort, where he is planning to spend up to €45m.
Yesterday, executive vice president at the Trump organisation, George Sorial, said: “We will examine the planning application in the next number of days and, if we conclude that it jeopardises our investment at Doonbeg, we will do whatever is necessary to fight it and protect the beauty of our site.”
Speaking from Trump HQ in Manhattan, Mr Sorial said: “We have a very good track record of fighting these monstrosities – they ruin people’s lives.”
Mr Sorial claimed that wind farms “are fuelled purely on government subsidies”.
“They are not self-funding and don’t create jobs,” he said. “Once the subsidies go, so do the wind farms.”
The Trump organisation may find itself at odds with 23 west Clare landowners, who stand to receive an annual dividend from the wind farm. Mr Sorial said: “That is unfortunate, but we have to do whatever is necessary to protect our investment.”
According to the promoters, the wind farm will supply sufficient electricity for 14,175 households.
During the 25-year life, the promoters have undertaken to pay €675,000, or €27,000 per year, to local community projects, with the council due to receive €4.37m in rates.
A decision is due on the application in October.
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