Trump tilts at ‘turbine threat’

BILLIONAIRE Donald Trump claimed last night that Scotland’s coastline will be “forever ruined” if a £200million windfarm is built next to his north-east golf resort.

He has attacked the plans for giant turbines to be built off the coast of Aberdeen because of the visual impact they will have on his Menie Estate links course.

The 11 structures – which would make up the European Offshore Wind Development Centre (EOWDC) – would measure up to 640ft high, twice the height of Big Ben.

They would be erected one-and-a-half miles from the coast between Balmedie and Bridge of Don.

But the Trump Organisation has vowed to use any available legal means to make sure the project does not go ahead.

Mr Trump said: “I am very disappointed that Scotland may allow the development of a wind power plant directly off Aberdeen’s beautiful coastline.”

He also released his own artist’s impression of what the scheme would look like from his championship golf course, which is nearing completion.

“When I first became involved with our billion-pound development, I was repeatedly promised, as an incentive for us to go forward and proceed with this project, that wind turbines would not be destroying and distorting the magnificent coastline,” he said.

“Unfortunately, despite these prior assurances that the wind project would not proceed, I am now learning that this issue has again raised its ugly head.”

Mr Trump previously threatened to walk away from his golf development when original proposals for the windfarm cited 33 turbines.

That number, however, was eventually scaled back.

Building work for the project – a partnership between Vattenfall, Technip, and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg) – could start as early as 2013.

But Mr Trump still fears the scheme could compromise his plans. He added: “Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries on earth, with its greatest asset being its coastline – a coastline known for its great beauty throughout the entire world.

“Speaking both selfishly and as somebody who loves Scotland, the birthplace of my mother, I hope that the mistake of building these massive and visually destructive power plants is avoided.”

And he warned Scottish residents: “Don’t be misled – your coastline will be forever ruined, your wildlife will be devastated and your valuable tax revenues wasted.”

David Rodger, project spokesman for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, said: “We have been in regular contact with the Trump Organisation and acknowledge the concern raised.”

Meanwhile, an engineering expert has questioned the drawing that the Trump Organisation released yesterday to justify its concerns.

Alan Owen, of the School of Engineering at the Robert Gordon University, said: “The Trump picture shows the wind turbines too close to shore and incorrectly distributed, both relative to the shore and to one another.”

Mr Owen, a member of the Areg board, added: “The area is already an industrial landscape with large boats congregating frequently, and the applicant’s picture is far more accurate.”

Last night, the Scottish Government dismissed Mr Trump’s claims and said each offshore application would be assessed by Scottish ministers.