Bloomberg News

Trump May Scrap Scottish Hotel, Housing on Wind Farm Ruling

January 27, 2012

(Updates with comment from wind venture starting in fifth paragraph, Scottish government statement in eighth.)

Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump will scrap plans for a hotel and housing at his golf resort in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, if the government approves an offshore wind farm in sight of his championship course due to open in June.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre, a venture between Vattenfall AB, Technip SA and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, applied in August to build 11 next-generation offshore wind turbines in Aberdeen Bay. The turbines will be as high as a 64-story building, Trump said today in a statement announcing planning approval for a permanent clubhouse on the site.

“The hotel and other built elements of the resort will not go ahead if the turbines are approved,” Sarah Malone, a Trump spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement today. “If the north-east of Scotland is serious about tourism and creating a global golf destination, it cannot allow the coastline to be ruined by an ugly industrial park directly off the shoreline.”

The 65-year-old Trump identified the coastal site at Balmedie, north of Aberdeen, as a potential 750 million-pound ($1.15 billion) golf resort in 2005 and battled for five years to gain consent to build two courses, a 450-bed five-star hotel, 500 homes and 950 short-term rental apartments. The second course is also on hold, Malone said today.

640 Feet High

The turbines are 195 meters (640 feet) high to the tip of the blade and will be 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) out at sea, according to David Rodger, a spokesman for the venture.

The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre “is crucial to the future economy of the region” and “is of strategic importance to the development of the offshore wind sector for Scotland, the U.K. and, indeed, Europe,” Rodger said in a statement today.

The first course will open a month ahead of schedule, Trump Golf Scotland said in an e-mailed statement today. Aberdeenshire Council today approved Trump’s plans for a permanent granite, slate and glass clubhouse, Trump Golf said.

Trump’s 1,400-acre (567-hectre) Menie Estate where he is building the resort, is in the constituency of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who has said he wants to make Scotland a world leader in renewable energy technology and generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

August Application

An application for the wind farm, known as the EOWDC, was submitted to the Marine Scotland authority on Aug. 1, when the consultation process began. A Scottish government spokesman, who declined to be identified, said the application was received Aug. 2 and the target for making a determination is nine months from receipt.

“We don’t believe the EOWDC will be approved when the facts of the project are known to the public,” Malone said. “It will ruin the coastline and Scottish tourism.”

The hotel and housing were included to help finance the development, which Trump has so far funded from his own resources.

“We have no debt service and the value of our land has increased exponentially,” Malone said in the statement. “During these times, developers with cash and no debt always have options.”

At the time of the public inquiry into the project in 2008, Trump said he wouldn’t build the hotel and housing until the two courses were finished.

The second course is “not something we are not looking at right now,” Malone said.

Trump, whose mother was born on the Scottish island of Lewis, has built golf resorts in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida and the Grenadine islands in the Caribbean This month he won a contract to run the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ferry Point municipal golf course in New York City that is due to open in the fall of next year.

--Editors: Ross Larsen, Andrew Blackman

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rodney Jefferson at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net


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