US TYCOON Donald Trump has said he would be “honoured” to come to Holyrood to air his grievances about a proposed wind farm near his luxury golf resort.
A planning application for an 11-turbine wind farm off Aberdeen Bay was submitted to Marine Scotland last summer. A decision is expected later this year.
The businessman has halted work on his nearby resort until the decision is made by the Scottish Government.
Mr Trump yesterday said he would be “honoured to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament Energy Committee if invited”.
Speaking from New York, he said: “I have been told by our attorneys, our lawyers, that we can bring a very large lawsuit and probably win the lawsuit based on the harm that these horrible things will do to Scotland.
“I feel betrayed. I had a very good relationship with Alex Salmond, and I like Alex Salmond, but I can’t let a thing like this happen.”
Mr Trump has previously called the turbines “ugly monstrosities” and “horrendous machines”, and has decided to bankroll an anti-wind farm campaign “to save Scotland”.
Deputy leader of the SNP’s Westminster group Stewart Hosie said he would “probably doubt” Mr Trump’s lawsuit would have any traction.
He went on to say: “There is no decision made on the deployment of the facility on the Menie estate. That decision will be taken in due course.
“I think the key thing to remember here is that this facility is a test facility. It’s 11 turbines, and I think it’s about three and a half kilometres off the coast. It’s not a full-scale wind turbine array. It will be a speck in the ocean somewhere miles away.”
Mr Hosie called Mr Trump “a very colourful character”, adding: “If Donald Trump isn’t happy I’m sure he will do whatever he feels is necessary, but so long as the planning process here is done absolutely scrupulously, as it will be, I’m not sure where Mr Trump will go with it.”
Labour MSP Duncan McNeil, who chaired the Scottish Parliament inquiry in 2007-8 into Mr Trump’s planning application for his resort at the Menie Estate, said: “Donald Trump wasn’t so keen to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s inquiry into the planning application in 2007.
“This now offers the opportunity to give us a greater insight into the original planning application and shed some light on the First Minister’s controversial involvement in it.”
Murdo Fraser, convener of Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, said: “We are aware of Mr Trump’s interest in giving evidence to the committee. The committee will be meeting next week to talk about which witnesses to call, and at that point we will take a decision on whether we wish to hear from Mr Trump.
“In the meantime, vice-convener John Wilson and I are meeting with Trump representatives on an informal basis to discuss in more detail with them about Mr Trump giving evidence and what that might entail.”
The Conservative MSP stressed that the committee was conducting an inquiry into renewable energy, but indicated that members might also wish to ask questions about Mr Trump’s wider activities in Scotland as part of their remit on the economy and tourism.