Donald Trump to fund anti-wind campaign

An anti-wind farm campaign is set to receive financial backing from American tycoon Donald Trump, who has opposed plans for an off-shore farm to be built near his luxury golf course in Scotland.

Mr Trump is fighting a planning application submitted to Marine Scotland last year for an 11 turbine off-shore wind farm near his Menie resort in Aberdeen Bay and has now pledged financial support to the group Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS).

Although it is not yet known how much funding will be provided, representatives from the Trump Organisation are expected to meet with the campaign group next week to finalise financial support plans.

This follows action by Mr Trump earlier this month when he wrote to the first minister Alex Salmond, accusing him of being “hell bent on destroying Scotland’s coastline” with wind turbines. CATS is understood to have contacted the Trump Organisation following Mr Trump’s letter and have now joined forces.

CATS chairman Susan Crossthwaite confirmed the offer of support, saying it is in negotiation with Mr Trump, adding that he will provide the campaign with “real standing” as it tries to “wake Scotland up to the devastation this is causing”.

However, environmental charity WWF Scotland has expressed disappointment at the news CATS campaign has gained funding, saying that renewables, such as wind power play an important role in tackling climate change.

WWF head of policy Dan Barlow said: “It is deeply depressing to hear in detail how Donald Trump intends using his vast wealth to try to kill off one of the clean, green solutions available to the people of Scotland.

“Along with energy efficiency and other forms of renewables, wind power is helping to reduce emissions, create jobs and export opportunities. Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine Scotland’s renewables ambitions are misguided.”

Meanwhile, Friends of the Earth Scotland chief executive Stan Blackley called for the Scottish Government to continue to support renewables.

He said: “It is imperative that the Scottish Government continues to work towards the transition to a low carbon economy and a renewable-powered future for Scotland. Scotland is uniquely placed to realistically achieve this and has more than its fair share of wind, wave and water resource to help make it happen, whether an American Billionaire likes it or not.

As a result of the wind farm application, Mr Trump has stalled plans for a new hotel development on his site until a decision on the “ugly monstrosities” and “horrendous machines” is made by the Scottish Government.

Carys Matthews

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