from Sunday Herald, 02 October 2011
Trump is vigorously opposing plans for an 11-turbine wind farm in the sea off Aberdeen Bay, a mile from the golf resort he is building on the coast near Balmedie. He has written twice in the last month to the First Minister, Alex Salmond, complaining that the wind farm would look “ugly” and be “environmentally irresponsible”.
The wind farm, proposed by a consortium including the Swedish energy company, Vattenfall, would deter visitors and damage his development, Trump argued. He would not have gone ahead if he hadn’t been “repeatedly promised, as an incentive for us to proceed with my project, that wind turbines would not be destroying and distorting Aberdeen’s magnificent coastline,” he told Salmond.
But both the Scottish Government and Aberdeenshire Council insisted that they had no record of making any such promises. The Sunday Herald asked them under freedom of information legislation to provide details of any statements made to Trump on wind farms.
Scottish Government officials searched the records and said in an email that this had “established that the information you require is not held by the Scottish Government.”
A government spokeswoman pointed out that Trump’s letter referred to the position five years ago before the current administration took office. “Therefore we have no record or knowledge of what was said then, ” she said.
“Ministers will assess every planning application on its merits taking into account the views of consultees, interested parties and the public.”
An email from Aberdeenshire Council said: “We have no records of Mr Trump being given any assurances by Aberdeenshire Council regarding possible wind turbines.” A council spokesman added: “We never made any such assurances.”
A spokeswoman for the Trump Organisation said: “Vattenfall and others have consistently said that the turbines would not adversely affect our property and yet their plans clearly illustrate otherwise. We intend to fight this development in order to protect our asset.”
The Green MSP, Patrick Harvie, has written to Salmond demanding an inquiry into Trump’s claims. The suggestion that such promises were made “represents a serious allegation of misconduct in the planning system,” Harvie argued.
“The veracity of this allegation must be determined and publicly acknowledged,” he said. “If Mr Trump is telling the truth then the source of such promises must be identified.”