NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Donald Trump 'halts golf resort work over wind farm'

Donald Trump at the Menie site
Image caption Donald Trump said he wanted to protect Aberdeen's coastline

US tycoon Donald Trump has said work at his golf resort near Aberdeen has stopped until a decision is made on plans for a wind farm off the coast.

Mr Trump said the plans for 11 turbines in Aberdeen Bay would spoil the sea views for his customers at Menie in Aberdeenshire.

He said if the turbines were approved the last thing he would do was build a hotel looking out at it.

A decision on the wind farm is awaited from Scottish ministers.

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

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

The wind farm's developers said it was a strategic development which was crucial to the area's economic future.

The Trump Organisation said in a statement: "We intend to open the championship golf course at the end of June, well ahead of schedule.

"All further plans for future development, including the hotel, are now on hold until the Scottish government makes a decision on the application for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre.

"If the north east of Scotland is serious about tourism and creating a global golf destination it cannot allow the coastline to be ruined by an ugly industrial park directly off the shoreline."

Mr Trump has previously written to First Minister Alex Salmond.

Testing ground

His letter said: "Please understand that I am not fighting this proposal merely for the benefit of Trump International Golf Links. Instead I am fighting for the benefit of Scotland.

"Every location in the United States with a magnificent coastline - nothing compared to Scotland - has successfully defeated these horrendous looking, noisy and inefficient structures."

Local resident David Milne said: "It is one failing golf course project versus an entire industry.

"I ask those with the authority to call his bluff and let him walk away."

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 has 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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