Donald Trump last night instructed his lawyers to take his fight against an offshore windfarm to the European Court of Justice.
The Supreme Court in London – the highest court in the land – yesterday announced it had rejected the US businessman’s appeal against the Scottish Government’s approval of the 11-turbine project at Aberdeen Bay.
Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), partners of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd (AOWFL), welcomed the decision and reaffirmed their commitment to the project – with campaigners also hailing the victory for renewable energy.
The court ruling came as Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the growing clamour for the US presidential hopeful to be barred from entering Britain under hate speech laws over his comments about Muslims.
A war of words also erupted in the wake of the court decision, with Alex Salmond branding the tycoon a “three-time loser” and the Trump Organisation mocking the former first minister as a “has-been”.
George Sorial, the company’s executive vice president, said the outcome demonstrated the “foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality” dominating the SNP government’s “dangerous experiment with wind energy”.
He also warned the £230million European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) would cast a “terrible shadow” upon the future of tourism in the north-east.
And last night he revealed the Trump Organisation’s lawyers had been instructed to proceed with a legal challenge to the European courts.
He claimed the centre would “never be built”, adding: “Comments that suggest otherwise are nothing more than delusional posturing”.
He went on: “The onerous planning conditions remain unpurified and it is common knowledge that there is no funding for a technology that is now many years obsolete.
“We will evaluate the court’s decision and continue to fight this proposal on every possible front.”
New York-based Mr Trump believes the scheme would spoil views from his golf course at Menie, near Balmedie, some two miles away.
He appealed to the Supreme Court after twice losing fights in Scottish courts.
During the hearing, held earlier this year, his lawyers argued the planning consent for the EOWDC – granted in 2013 – was unlawful, but a panel of five judges disagreed. In reaching a decision they examined how the Electricity act 1989 should be interpreted in terms of a party’s eligibility to apply for consent to construct a generating station.
They also looked at whether the consent was so imprecise as to be invalid.
Mr Sorial described the ruling as “extremely unfortunate” for the residents of Aberdeen and “anyone who cares about Scotland’s economic future”.
He added: “The EOWDC will completely destroy the bucolic Aberdeen Bay and cast a terrible shadow upon the future of tourism for the area.
“History will judge those involved unfavourably and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish Government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.”
But Scotland’s energy minister Fergus Ewing said the centre would further position Aberdeen as the energy capital of Europe.
He added: “It will give the industry the ability to test and demonstrate new technologies to enable costs to be further reduced.
“Aberdeen is already of global importance for hydrocarbons and this wind deployment centre cements its role in renewable offshore development.”
Mr Trump previously said he would pull the plug on his plans to further develop his Aberdeenshire resort if the windfarm goes ahead.