Friday 19 January 2018

Trump's wind-farm battle

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Peter Woodifield

DONALD Trump, the New York real estate billionaire, is convinced a decision by the Scottish government to allow an offshore wind farm in sight of his golf course will be overturned, said Trump executive George Sorial.

"We are confident of our case," Sorial said. "We have absolute confidence that the Scottish legal system will resolve this matter fairly."

The judicial review, set to last four days at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, is being attended by Donald Trump Jr and Sorial, the executive in charge of the £750m (€801m) Scottish golf resort development in Aberdeenshire.

Trump (67) didn't attend the hearing before judge Raymond Doherty.

Trump's lawyers presented through a combination of written and oral submissions, Sorial said. Lawyers acting for the Scottish government will defend the case over today and tomorrow, he said.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, a venture between Vattenfall, Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, was given permission in March to build 11 wind turbines capable of generating enough power for more than 49,000 homes.

The project will cost more than £230m, according to the companies.

Trump has been in conflict with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, whose electoral district includes Trump's estate, for almost two years over his goal to make Scotland the hub for European wind power and to generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Salmond's government is committed to the successful and sustainable development of an offshore wind industry, it said in an e-mailed statement.

"It is not appropriate for the Scottish government to comment on on-going legal proceedings."

Trump, who is currently building a second course on his 1,400-acre Menie estate north of Aberdeen, last year deferred a plan to build a five-star hotel, 500 homes and 950 rental apartments at the resort because of the wind farm.

Trump was prepared to fight the proposal to install the 651 feet-high turbines 1.5 miles out to sea for years in the courts if necessary, Sorial said in an interview in February.

The turbines will be higher at the tip of the blades than the London tower known as the Gherkin. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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