Tycoon Donald Trump threatens to sue the Scottish government over wind farm plans
Trump opposes plans to build wind farm near his new golf course in Aberdeenshire
Billionaire claims Scotland's first minister told him wind farm would not go ahead
Trump has faced criticism of his golf and hotel complex from environmental groups
It was Donald Trump’s long-held dream. To build the best links golf course in the world in Scotland, as a tribute to his late mother who was born in the country.
But it is fast turning into a nightmare for the billionaire business tycoon.
After initial opposition to the project from environmental groups, Trump now has a green problem of his own, in the shape of an offshore wind farm.
With the Trump International Golf Links ready for action from July, Trump has shelved plans for an adjoining hotel until a decision is made on the wind farm.
And he was in Scotland this week to accuse the government of luring him into his £1 bn project by telling him the offshore developemtn would never be built.
He told CNN he plans to sue, unless the development is abandoned.
“If an administration that’s previous gives a statement, and if you rely on that statement, and then you build and spend tens of millions of pounds in this case, building this great course – if you do that and rely on certain statements, and the next administration say ‘Well, we’re not going to (do that)’, then I think that is unfair..
“I don’t think that is good business. I think people looking to invest in Scotland will look at this and say ‘Well, we’ll invest some place else.’
“I will sue if they try to advance it further, I will be suing Scotland.”
Trump said he would never have begun his project on the east coast of Scotland if he thought the mooted wind farm was a possibility.
He says he received assurances from Alex Salmond at a dinner in New York back in 2007 that the offshore development, which is just a mile from his course, would not go ahead.
Trump told the committee that pursuing the construction of wind farms could, in his opinion, be the ruination of Scotland.
“The last thing I needed was to build a course in Scotland,” he told CNN. “But the land was so incredible and in honor of my mother, who was born in Scotland, I thought it’d be a great idea.
“So I decided to do it and it came out even better than I thought.”
Two groups of protestors gathered outside the Scottish parliament for Trump’s visit – those who support his opposition to wind farms, and those who claim his development has spoiled an area of outstanding natural beauty.
But advocates of Scotland’s policy of embracing renewable energy projects insist the government should not be blown off course by entrepreneurs like Trump.
Niall Stuart, CEO of Scottish Renewables, insists the country’s reputation for being at the forefront of the sustainable energy campaign must be maintained.
“Our government is absolutely committed to maximizing not just the environmental benefits of renewable energy but also the economic and employment benefits of renewable energy,” he told CNN.
“Actually it’s that political commitment to renewables that has put Scotland on the map internationally.”