Donald Trump will launch a fresh legal challenge against an offshore wind project after the Scottish Government backed a crucial element of the scheme yesterday.
An appeal from developers behind the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) was upheld, overturning a local decision from Aberdeenshire Council to refuse planning permission.
Backers of the scheme welcomed the ruling, and said consent for the electricity substation to bring power onshore at Blackdog was “clearly a major milestone”.
Locals who had objected to the development were left in despair, however, while the Trump Organisation pledged the £230million scheme would spend “years” in the courts.
Mr Trump believes the windfarm would spoil views from his championship golf course at Menie Estate.
A statement from the organisation, which has already lost an appeal against the scheme at the highest court in Scotland, said: “It is a disgrace that the Scottish Government has recklessly disregarded the health and safety of the Blackdog residents and ignored the fears of Aberdeenshire Council.
“We intend to pursue a separate legal challenge to this decision and will continue to fight it in the Court of Session and beyond.
“This matter will be in court for many years to come.”
The EOWDC is due to connect to the National Grid in 2017, two years later than was originally forecast.
Locals had voiced fears over increased traffic in the area and the presence of asbestos on the former landfill site.
In his report, Scottish Government reporter Michael Shiel said: “With regards to the contamination issue, I have concluded that the evidence indicates that the construction of the substations and cables would involve a low risk to public health and safety, and that appropriate mitigation measures can be taken to ensure that this is the case.”
Planning permission has been granted subject to 16 conditions.
EOWDC project director Andy Paine said: “The onshore works are an essential part of the EOWDC.
“Therefore this is good news for the offshore wind industry, which recognises the importance of the scheme to delivering the potential of the sector, and the north-east because it will contribute considerably to the region’s long-term prosperity and its drive to be a leader in sustainable energy.”