Scotland backs wind farm opposed by Donald Trump
The Scottish government on Tuesday approved an offshore wind farm that has drawn the ire of American tycoon Donald Trump, who fears it will spoil the views at his luxury golf resort nearby.
Trump vowed to bring a lawsuit to stop the 230 million pound ($349 million) development, which consists of 11 wind turbines planned off the coast near Aberdeen in northeastern Scotland.
"We will spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed," the real estate mogul said in a statement.
Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said the project will boost the local economy, test new technologies and be capable of providing energy to meet the electricity needs of 49,000 homes - almost half the number in Aberdeen.
The wind farm, owned by Swedish power company Vattenfall and a local business consortium, still needs to obtain a marine license and approval for an onshore substation.
Trump is concerned that the turbines will spoil sea views for golfers at his sprawling, 750 million pound ($1.2 billion) resort at Menie Estate, which opened last summer despite strong local opposition.
The businessman, who bought the land north of Aberdeen in 2006, was due to add a luxury hotel to the site but he has said he will not proceed with those plans until the wind farm project is rejected.
Trump Organization argues that Scottish leader Alex Salmond and his predecessor gave verbal assurances that a wind farm would never be approved off the coast of the resort.
The tycoon criticized Tuesday's approval as a "purely political decision" and claimed it would ruin tourism and natural beauty in Scotland.
"We will put our future plans in Aberdeen on hold, as will many others, until this ridiculous proposal is defeated," he said.
Trump himself has been criticized by local residents and environmentalists, who protested that his golf resort threatened the coastal sand dunes and wildlife in the area.
In total, the resort has permission to build two golf courses, a 450-room hotel and holiday homes along 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of coast.