A legal bid by American golf course and hotel developer Donald Trump to overturn a new windfarm development near his planned new golf course in Aberdeenshire has been bunkered by the Court of Session.
The US businessman claimed the £230m European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) would spoil the view from his golf course at Menie, in Aberdeen Bay
Trump International Golf Club Scotland and the Trump Organisation appealed for a judicial review of the Scottish government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry on the windfarm application and of their decision to grant consent for the project.
But Lord Doherty said he was ‘not persuaded that it could be fairly concluded there was a real possibility of any bias in the decision-making process, or that the decision not to hold an inquiry had been unreasonable or unlawful.’
Trump said he will appeal and in the meantime focus instead on a new development in Ireland.
Commenting on the ruling on the judicial review to grant consent for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “The proposed European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is an important project for Aberdeen and North East Scotland.
“It will give the industry the ability to test and demonstrate new technologies to accelerate its growth. Aberdeen is already of global importance for hydrocarbons and this wind deployment centre cements its role in renewable offshore development, further positioning Aberdeen as the energy capital of Europe and a world energy centre.
“Scotland has enormous potential for renewable energy that is delivering jobs and investment across Scotland, and helping keep the lights on across the UK against a background of the ever tightening gap between electricity supply and demand south of the border.”
For Friends of the Earth Scotland, Mary Church, Head of Campaigns, said: “The decision against Trump’s legal challenge is a victory for the environment and for communities.
“Not only can this important wind farm go ahead and help pave the way to a low carbon future for Scotland, but hopefully it will give some hope to the communities whose rights Trump has trampled on that the Government and courts can stand up to the billionaire bully.”
“The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) in Aberdeen Bay will enable offshore wind developers to test new technology and equipment before developing on a commercial scale.”
Aedán Smith, Head of Planning and Development for RSPB Scotland, said: “We welcome this decision. We need offshore wind to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate change already causing problems for people and wildlife in the UK and across the world. The Aberdeen Bay wind farm is a small but important pilot. We need to get it working as soon as possible, and we need to monitor it intensively to find out how birds react to it.
“The information gathered from Aberdeen Bay will be critical in helping design the much larger windfarms proposed for Scotland’s coast so that they can be built without harming Scotland’s internationally important seabirds and other marine wildlife.
“We hope Mr Trump will not appeal this decision and will allow the development of this important industry to proceed in a sustainable manner.”
Kevin Stewart, MSP for Aberdeen Central, added: “This is the correct decision which is in best economic interests of Aberdeen and Scotland – I absolutely welcome the court’s ruling.
“The wind generation centre provides a great opportunity for Aberdeen and maintains the city’s status and international reputation as a Scottish and European energy powerhouse.
“Donald Trump should now stop wasting everyone’s time and his own money; he should now accept the benefits of this project to Scotland and the North East in particular.
“More than 11,000 people work in the renewables industry in Scotland – and this number will continue to grow. Scottish renewable energy is a massive asset.”