Donald Trump takes Scottish windfarm fight to UK’s top court

Source: By Paul Sandle, Reuters • Posted: Friday, October 9, 2015

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, United States, October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

Billionaire U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump took his long battle against windfarms near his Scottish golf course to the UK Supreme Court on Thursday.

The property mogul – who says plans for 11 offshore turbines will spoil the view from his greens – has lost a series of battles in lower courts, and has vowed to go on to the European Court of Justice if he fails again in London.

“Mr Trump does not want a wind farm 1 km (0.6 mile) away from his golf course,” Trump’s lawyer John Campbell said.

“It was unfortunate that Mr Trump couldn’t be here, but he’s busy with other things,” he told Reuters at the court door.

Trump’s lawyers did not discuss the aesthetic merits of the turbines on Thursday, but instead questioned the validity of the Scottish government’s approval of the windfarm, saying their case brought up an important point of law.

The Scottish government’s lawyer, James Mure, rejected the arguments, describing one point as “entirely fallacious”.

The combative star of reality TV show The Apprentice, whose mother was born in Stornaway, Scotland, did not refer to the case on his widely-read Twitter feed on Thursday.

In his latest message, he told his 4.37 million online followers he had just arrived in Las Vegas and was waiting for the latest poll results. “Leading big everywhere,” he wrote.

Trump’s legal battles, first over his plans to build the course on the Aberdeenshire coast, have already brought him up against some of his near neighbors, environmentalists and online campaigners.

Scotland’s government gave him the green light to build the 18-hole course and a five-star hotel in 2010.

The government, however, did not share his opposition to the turbines off Aberdeen Bay, saying in 2013 they would boost the local economy, test new technology and power 49,000 homes.

The Supreme Court’s verdict is expected early next year.

(Writing by Paul Sandle; Editing by Andrew Heavens)