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Donald Trump renews legal challenge over windfarm

Donald Trump has renewed his legal challenge to an offshore windfarm which he claims is ruining his plans for an exclusive golf resort in the north-east.

The US tycoon has raised a court action against Scottish Ministers who are backing the Aberdeen Bay scheme.

He wants judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to judicially review a decision made in March 2013 after the government at the time opted not to hold a public inquiry into the proposal.

Mr Trump reckons the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) could spoil the view from his golf course at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, and has threatened to stop investing there.

A previous bid to have a judicial review failed after judge Lord Doherty ruled last year that the Holyrood administration had not acted illegally.

Yesterday, Mr Trump’s legal team began a further action before judges Lord Gill, Lord Malcolm and Lord Menzies.

At the last attempt, Mr Trump’s lawyers argued that because the windfarm was receiving public money through Aberdeen City Council and the European Union there was an appearance of bias.

The team also claimed remarks made by former first minister Alex Salmond about the certainty of the Aberdeen Bay project going ahead could be interpreted that way.

Yesterday, it emerged that one of the key arguments in the legal challenge would be over the interpretation of the 1989 electricity act.

Mr Trump’s lawyers argue that Lord Doherty interpreted the legislation wrongly and came to an incorrect decision in not allowing the judicial review to go ahead.

The businessman’s advocate John Campbell QC told the appeal judges: “To adopt his approach you have two lots of rules for different people – those with a licence, those without a licence, those who are exempt and those who are not exempt.”

The judges will give their decision on whether a judicial review will be granted at a later date.

Mr Trump has led a bitter public campaign against the EOWDC and has put plans on hold for his £750million resort at Menie.

Meanwhile, a separate legal challenge is to be heard at the Court of Session next month against an electricity sub-station needed for the offshore centre.

Campaigners Edna Booth and Nicola Brown mounted a legal challenge last year over fears toxic waste will be disturbed during construction at the village of Blackdog.