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Donald Trump loses Shetland wind farm appeal

Picture: Ian Rutherford

Picture: Ian Rutherford

  • by ANGUS HOWARTH
 

AMERICAN tycoon Donald Trump’s plans to fight the Scottish Government over a major wind farm project on Shetland has been rejected by judges.

Mr Trump wanted to challenge ministers in their appeal against a landmark decision to block the a 103 turbine Viking wind farm on central Shetland.

Earlier this year, campaigners from Sustainable Shetland successfully challenged a decision by Scottish Ministers to give the go-ahead for the construction the Viking project.

Lady Clark upheld their claim that developers did not have a licence to generate electricity and were not exempt from the requirement under the terms of the 1989 Electricity Act. The Scottish government is appealing that decision.

But Mr Trump is arguing that the Aberdeen Bay plans should be shelved for the same reason and his lawyers went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh to seek permission take part in the Shetland appeal case.

Yesterday Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Carloway, sitting with Lady Smith and Lady Dorrian, rejected their application.

Lord Carloway said: “The Trump Organisation and its related companies are already involved in a litigation where they can seek the remedy which they wish to achieve.”

He said if the companies’ challenge over the Aberdeen Bay plans goes against them, it would be open to them to return to the civil appeal court.

Gordon Steele, QC, for the Trump organisations, had told the court that they had taken a point in the judicial review which was identical to that in the Shetland case.

He said they had become aware that Sustainable Shetland did not intend to argue the competency point in its appeal for financial reasons.

Mr Steele argued that a matter of such importance should not proceed without another party arguing the case.

However, the court has now appointed an independent QC to provide advice on the issue.

The appeal judges also rejected a bid by commercial wind farm developers to enter the Shetland case. Lord Carloway said the judges did not consider they had a direct interest in the matter and had their own route to challenge decisions.

And they refused a move by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to become involved in the case.

Concerns had been raised about the impact of the project on the whimbrel, a wading bird.

Sustainable Shetland intends to make representations to appeal judges at next year’s hearing over the birds directive.

 

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