Donald Trump launches legal challenge to wind farm decision

Photomontage of planned turbines The wind farm would be off the Aberdeen coast

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Donald Trump has launched a legal challenge against the Scottish government's decision to grant planning permission for a wind farm off the Aberdeenshire coast.

The US tycoon opposes the development and says it will spoil the views from his golf course on the Menie estate.

Ministers believe renewable energy is essential for Scotland's economy.

Mr Trump has lodged the challenge at the Court of Session.

The £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) project consists of 11 wind turbines and is aimed at providing enough energy for more than 49,000 homes.

The petition asks the court to declare that the decision not to hold a public inquiry, and the subsequent approval of the EOWDC, were unlawful. It calls for the decisions to be reversed.

Mr Trump said: "I plan on proceeding for as long as required, irrespective of cost."

'Thorough consideration'

A Scottish government spokesperson said: "The Scottish government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind sector, which could lead to a potential generation of over £7bn to Scotland's economy and support up to 28,000 direct jobs and a further 20,000 indirect jobs by 2020.

"The decision on the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre application was made following thorough consideration of all material issues connected with the application, taking into account views of consultees, stakeholders and members of the public.

"This development offers a significant and strategic opportunity to drive the harnessing of Scotland's vast offshore renewables resources forward by providing a site for developers to prove new and innovative solutions in a real time environment."

New funding is being sought after a major investor announced plans to reduce its stake in the project. Vattenfall said it was having to "prioritise its investments".

The American businessman had previously said his 140-bedroom hotel at Menie would only proceed if plans for the wind farm did not go ahead.

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