Wind-farm rift won’t stop Trump's Scotland course
Monday, February 13, 2012
Donald Trump is upset about a proposed wind farm off the coast of his mammoth Scottish golf resort and housing development. But he won’t let his concerns get in the way of a planned June 28 opening of Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Aberdeen.
The property sits on Scotland’s northeast coast on the North Sea and long has been coveted by proponents of renewable-energy, wind-driven turbines. But plans for the 11 structures, which would rise 65 stories high and be located 1.5-2.5 miles offshore, have been met with resistance from regional tourism and golf officials concerned about what they claim will be ruined views. Chief among the critics is Trump, who is concerned that his $1.184 billion golf course, luxury hotel and real-estate community will be compromised in the process.
Trump has not withheld his fury from Scottish and local planning officials tasked with responsibility for evaluating the wind turbines. He reportedly has written to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond decrying the turbines as “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible” and as an “ugly cloud hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline.” Now, Trump has threatened to halt progress on the hotel and housing until the controversy is settled.
“It’s not a threat to pull out,” said George Sorial, executive vice president and counsel for the Trump Organization, who has been overseeing the Scotland project for the past five years. “But we are taking the firm position that we are not going to do anything with the rest of the property until the issue of the wind turbines is settled,” he told Golfweek.
Meanwhile, the golf course, set on spectacular dunes along a two-mile coastal stretch, has been built and grassed in and already is booking public tee times. A temporary clubhouse is being readied, with a permanent clubhouse set to follow. The course has been designed by Englishman Martin Hawtree, who has worked closely on several British Open renovations and is one of eight finalists for the coveted job of designing the course for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.