Trump Organisation warns of damage to Scotland’s tourism industry
DONALD Trump’s battle to stop a windfarm being built near his multi-million pound golf estate could harm Scotland’s tourism industry, his right-hand man has warned.
George Sorial, the executive vice president and counsel of the Trump Organisation, says foreign investors could opt to build new developments in Ireland if wind turbines are erected near some of Scotland’s best links courses.
He said: “Any reasonably intelligent investor, certainly if their business is in real estate development, is going to look at our case and say, do we really need this?
“We’ve got our own project approved and now all of a sudden we are looking at this.”
He added: “If you are truly going to have an independent Scotland why ruin the assets that brings folk into the country?
“Why ruin an asset that for decades has been generating inward investment?”
Mr Sorial also revealed that Mr Trump preparing for a long legal battle to prevent the offshore turbine proposal off the coast of his £750 million development at the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire.
Mr Sorial vowed the organisation would fight on if the windfarm project is given the green light.
He said: “The first thing we’ll do is follow through with legal process.”
While adamant he is not “taking on the windpower sector” he said the turbines spoiled Scotland’s landscape.
“Don’t put wind turbines where there’s a links golf course or where it’s going to kill a historic site.
“People come from all over the world to play courses that are unique to Scotland. They don’t want to look down on electrical turbines.
“You’ll just have tourists going to Ireland to play on the links courses there.
“The entire north east tourist sector has objected, the Scottish Golf Union are with us. When is someone in the Scottish Government going to wake up?”
The Trump Organisation has already halted plans for a hotel on the site until a decision is made, but Trump has previously blasted the plans, calling them “disastrous and environmentally irresponsible”, and lading that they left an “ugly cloud hanging over the future of the great Scottish coastline”.
The billionaire tycoon even sent representatives to a local committee meeting last week to try and persuade them to vote against the 11 turbine project.
A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said the meeting of the infrastructure services committee was part of the consultation process and that the final decision on the windfarm would be made by Marine Scotland.
However he said “the attitude was quite positive” amongst councillors who had discussed the plans.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “An application for consent for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre was submitted to Marine Scotland. Ministers will asses every planning application on its merits taking into account the views of consultees, interested parties and the public.”
Last week Mr Sorial hit out at a Scots documentary documenting the battle to get planning permission for the resort and the objections of locals to the project.
He branded the work of Angus film-maker Anthony Baxter as “nothing more than a feeble and pathetic attempt to make money by exploiting the Trump name” and claimed You’ve Been Trumped was “factually challenged”.
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