Blowing in the wind? Trump threatens to ditch $1B Scottish golf resort

    Story highlights

    • Donald Trump threatens to pull plug on $1.2 billion Scottish golf course development
    • American tycoon angered by plans to build giant wind farm nearby in Aberdeenshire
    • Final decision on renewable energy project rests with Marine Scotland later in 2012
    • Trump appeals directly to Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond in a letter
    When the first sod was laid on Donald Trump's billion-dollar championship golf resort in Scotland last April, few people could have predicted that less than a year later the whole project would be under threat.
    The flamboyant American billionaire has publicly stated his intention of building "the greatest golf course in the world" on a stretch of protected sand dunes on the Aberdeenshire coast near Menie.
    After a five-year planning battle to face down the objections of local campaigners and environmental groups, Trump himself cut the ribbon to start construction work in June 2010 -- and progress since then has been swift.
    The 18-hole championship links course, designed by leading golf architect Dr. Martin Hawtree, will open in mid-2012.
    But the accompanying hotel and leisure resort, nearly 1,500 holiday homes and houses plus a second course have been put on hold because of plans by a leading renewable energy supplier, Vattenfall, to build 11 giant wind turbines about a mile and a half (2 km) off the coast from Trump's land.
    He has reacted furiously by threatening to mothball the project, and reportedly donated £10 million ($15.9 million) to an anti-wind farm group, Communities against Turbines Scotland.
    Political dilemma
    Caught in the middle of the verbal crossfire is Scotland's political leader Alex Salmond, who has boasted that the country will generate all its electricity demands from renewables by 2020.
    The First Minister, who is the Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the area that covers the Aberdeenshire course, has supported the Trump project because of the jobs and economic regeneration it promises to bring.
    But his views on the wind farm application, which will be ruled on by a governmental body called Marine Scotland, have yet to be made public. Salmond's office told CNN that he could not comment, but issued the following statement.
    "An application for consent for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center was submitted to Marine Scotland on 2 August 2011 and is still under consideration. We have a target of determining applicatio