Donald Trump is furious about a proposed off-shore wind-farm near his £750 million golf resort development in Menie on the Scottish Aberdeenshire coast — so much so that he has written a letter to Alex Salmond. In the letter, Trump calls the proposed 11-turbine wind-farm “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible”, one wonders if he would think it was so disastrous or environmentally irresponsible if he wasn’t about to see completion of a golf resort a mile down the beach from it.
Of course he’s furious, he has every right to be, but in all honesty it would be far better for all of us if he approached it in a different way. Oil is going to run out, and global warming is real. If we want to continue living on this earth, and living the lives we do now, we all need to accept that things like wind-farms are going to become part of our landscape and scenery.
The coast of highlands Scotland is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, but it is also one of the windiest places in the UK, and you can’t build wind-farms where there is no wind.
But Trump doesn’t see it that way, and the developer has vowed to fight against the “useless eyesore” on every possible front.
Five years ago, environmentalists and those in the local community in Menie were saying similar things about his luxury golf development, but Trump won the day. Apparently, at the time Trump extracted pledges from the then Scottish government, that wind turbines would not be “destroying and distorting Aberdeen’s magnificent coastline”.
In the letter Trump says, “you should ask yourself if any other international developer would ever risk investing in Scotland after my experience and all the promises that were made to me”.
But these promises were not made by the current government, a spokesman for the Scottish government said: “Mr Trump’s letter refers to the position five years ago, when he was submitting his Menie planning application in 2006 – before the current administration took office – and therefore we have no knowledge of what was said then.
“The Menie application was determined properly, according to Scotland’s planning laws and procedures, and it will be exactly the same for this development proposal.
“Ministers will assess every planning application on its merits, taking into account the views of consultants, interested parties and the public.”
In his letter to Salmond, Trump writes: “I object in the strongest possible terms to the current location of the wind turbines as proposed by Vattenfall, which is only 2km from my championship golf course and directly opposite Royal Aberdeen Golf Club.
“Its adverse visual impact on my development and the beautiful Aberdeen coastline would be disastrous and environmentally irresponsible.
“I will soon have invested approximately Â£60 million of my own money – which is not a public subsidy, unlike the funding for Vattenfall’s turbines – to create a world-class golf resort under my global brand.
“After enduring the expense and many years of complex planning procedures, the championship course is nearing completion, well ahead of schedule.
“Unfortunately, instead of celebrating the start of something valuable and beautiful for Scotland, this ugly cloud is hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline.
“My objection to the wind farm should come as no surprise to anyone because I have consistently warned of the adverse consequences it would have on my development and on Aberdeen.”
But according to Trump, he is not just fighting for the views of his patrons. In a great irony, Trump claims to be fighting against the desecration of Scotland’s coastline, when 5 years ago people were fighting against his golf development on the very same grounds, and now, according to them he is guilty of such desecration.
Trump’s letter to Salmond reads: “I am not fighting this proposal merely for the benefit of Trump International Golf Links. Instead, I am fighting for the benefit of Scotland.
“Every location in the United States with a magnificent coastline – nothing compared to Scotland – has successfully defeated these horrendous looking, noisy and inefficient structures.
“My mother, Mary MacLeod, who was born in Stornoway [in the Outer Hebrides off Scotland’s north-west coast], would be very proud of what I am doing for Scotland.
“It is not only for my project, it is more to preserve Scotland’s beautiful coastline and natural heritage.”
This will certainly be an interesting one to watch. One silently wonders how many lavish lunches or perhaps more expensive things went into extracting the promises from the previous government, and if now a little grease in the right wheels will put paid to the wind-farm. Of course, we will probably never know one way or the other.
- Donald Trump and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) join forces to defeat wind turbine project [Daily Mail]
- Donald Trump’s plea to Alex Salmond over ‘ugly’ wind farm [Guardian]
- Donald Trump Angry Over Offshore Wind Farms Near Scotland Golf Course [Huffington Post]
- Trump’s fury at ‘ugly’ wind farm set to spoil his fairway from heaven [The National – UAE]
Photo Credits: Slaunger via Flickr