Donald Trump loses legal case to block Scottish windfarm

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has had plans to stop the construction of a wind farm near his golf resort in Aberdeen rejected by Britain's Supreme Court judges, an outcome that the Trump Organisation has branded as "small-minded and parochial".

Planning permission for the 11 turbine development near Trump’s Menie Estate golf resort in Aberdeenshire was granted back in 2013. Trump has been battling the decision ever since.

This week the Republican frontrunner’s appeal was dismissed by judges in London – the third time Trump has lost the argument for this case.

A spokesman for the Trump Organisation said the verdict is ‘extremely unfortunate’ noting that the new wind farm would ‘destroy the bucolic Aberdeen Bay.’

The spokesman added: “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.”

“We will evaluate the court’s decision and continue to fight this proposal on every possible front.”

Trump has warned that he could cancel plans to further develop the resort, risking the economic benefits that it brings, if the windfarm – developed by the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in a joint project with Vattenfall Wind Power and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group – received approval.

It is believed that once the wind farm is fully operational, it will produce enough clean energy to power 68,000 households each year.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “This result is great news for Scotland and for all those interested in tackling climate change and creating jobs. Having failed in his attempt to undermine Scotland’s renewables ambitions, it’s now time for Mr Trump to move on.

“Once up and running, this test facility will be ideally placed to help test the technologies needed to harness Scotland’s huge offshore renewables potential, ensuring learning by industry, and playing an important role in helping to drive down costs. We hope developing this important scheme can now quickly progress.

“It’s clear from the recent Paris climate talks that the world is going to have to undertake a massive renewables revolution, and schemes like the one off Aberdeenshire will have an important role to play. As we approach the Holyrood elections, we’d like to see all the political parties fully grasp the economic opportunities that will arise from this transition by committing to make Scotland’s electricity system entirely renewable by 2030.”

The property tycoon billionaire could still continue the fight against the project by taking the case to the European Court.

Winds of change

Scotland’s renewable energy sector displaced 12.3 million tonnes of carbon emissions last year – a 120% increase since 2010.

September saw stronger winds that led to an 80% leap in wind energy output across the country – enough power to supply the average electrical needs of 64% of Scottish households.

Matt Mace

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