US billionaire Donald Trump claimed former first minister Alex Salmond did Scotland’s landscape a “tremendous disservice” as he spoke out against wind farms at the opening of the new club house of his golf course.
Trump’s visit to Trump Turnberry in south Ayrshire came days after losing the latest legal battle against an offshore wind farm near his Aberdeenshire golf resort.
Trump and his son Eric today took part in a ribbon cutting ceremony at the clubhouse at Trump Turnberry, the resort he bought last year.
The clubhouse has undergone a £6.5 million refit which has seen the creation of a new restaurant, an extended shop, a new east-facing balcony and refurbished locker rooms.
It completes the first phase of a two-year upgrade of Trump Turnberry, which also includes improvements to the Ailsa championship course, a rebuilding of the Kintyre course and a makeover of the hotel. The tycoon last year said he planned to invest about £250 million in the resort.
Trump said: “We are going to do a very beautiful and sensitive job. I think the end product won’t be like anything else in the world.
“It’s going to be a very, very special time for Trump Turnberry and it’s going to be a very special period of time for Scotland.”
Last week the property developer was dealt a fresh blow in his campaign against an 11-turbine wind farm off the coast of his luxury golf links at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.
The plans were approved by the Scottish Government in 2013 but are bitterly opposed by Trump, who claims the scheme will spoil the view at his resort.
The Trump Organisation went to Edinburgh’s Court of Session for a review of the decision by Scottish ministers not to hold a public inquiry on the wind farm application and their decision to grant consent for the project.
The petition was dismissed in February last year and Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Gill, ruled on Friday that the earlier decision was legal.
The Trump Organisation has pledged to continue its legal challenge at the UK Supreme Court and the European Courts.
Trump reiterated that he would appeal and voiced his concerns about wind farms.
He said: “They are very bad for tourism and the environment and certainly for the birds. Thousands of birds are being killed by these monsters.”
He also criticised Mr Salmond saying: “I have not spoken to Alex Salmond in years but I think it is a terrible thing he has done to Scotland. He has destroyed some of the great beauty of the world. Scotland is known for its landscape and I fly over Scotland and I see these windmills that are killing the birds.
“Alex Salmond has done Scotland a tremendous disservice. Alex has done a tremendous disservice to this incredible landscape.”
Trump has previously said he will pull the plug on plans to further develop his resort near Balmedie if the wind farm goes ahead.
Asked whether he would pull out if the wind farm is built, he replied: “I would think about it but I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
He was also asked whether he would be standing as a Republican candidate in the US, and said: “I will be meeting lots of people at Trump Towers on June 16 and I’m going to make an announcement that will be a very interesting announcement and I think it’s going to make a lot of people very happy.”