NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Donald Trump sends wind farm complaint to Alex Salmond

Donald Trump
Image caption Work began on the golf project a year ago and is almost complete

US tycoon Donald Trump has written to Scotland's First Minister objecting to plans to build an offshore wind farm near his luxury golf resort.

In the letter to Alex Salmond, the billionaire described the wind turbines as "environmentally irresponsible".

The Trump Organisation also filed an objection to the planning application.

A planning application for an 11-turbine wind farm off Aberdeen Bay, 2km (1.2 miles) from his golf course, was submitted to Marine Scotland in August.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is a £150m joint venture by utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.

'Ugly cloud'

Mr Trump's golf project is nearing completion.

Work on the £750m development, featuring a hotel and homes, on the Menie Estate on the coast began a year ago.

In the letter to Mr Salmond, he said: "Unfortunately, instead of celebrating the start of something valuable and beautiful for Scotland, this ugly cloud is hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline."

Mr Trump said he had been "repeatedly promised" that wind farms would not be "destroying and distorting Aberdeen's magnificent coastline".

He said: "Despite repeated assurances from Vattenfall and others that the turbines would not be visible from my site, the current application indicates otherwise."

He went on: "In short, this wind farm should not be built, or alternatively, be relocated.

"If not, you should ask yourself if any other international developer would ever risk investing in Scotland after my experience and all the promises that were made to me."

A Scottish government spokesman said: "Mr Trump's letter refers to the position five years ago, when he was submitting his Menie planning application in 2006 - before the current administration took office - and therefore we have no knowledge of what was said then.

"What this administration can say is that the Menie application was determined properly, according to Scotland's planning law and procedures, and it will be exactly the same for this development proposal.

"Ministers will assess every planning application on its merits taking into account the views of consultees, interested parties and the public."

It is six years since the idea of a wind farm in the waters off Aberdeen was first mooted.

The marine consortium applying to build the wind farm said the 11 next-generation wind turbines would be constructed as a testing ground for future developments.

It is expected it would create jobs and economic benefit by attracting scientists, researchers, engineers, offshore wind supply chain companies.

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