LONDON Eleven giant wind turbines are to be built off the east coast of Scotland, the government announced on Tuesday, a move that has infuriated U.S. billionaire Donald Trump who says they will spoil the view from his nearby state-of-the-art golf course.
Trump completed the first phase of his $1.14 billion course at Menie near Aberdeen in 2010 after a fierce battle with conservationists who accused him of ruining a pristine coastal site.
The 66-year-old property magnate has long been railing against plans for what he calls the "huge and unsightly" turbines and has threatened to scrap plans to build a hotel at the course.
The 640-feet turbines will be in the sea an estimated mile and a half from Trump's links course.
On Tuesday, he issued a statement saying: "We will put our future plans in Aberdeen on hold, as will many others, until this ridiculous proposal is defeated.
"Likewise, we will be bringing a lawsuit within the allocated period of time to stop what will definitely be the destruction of Aberdeen and Scotland itself."
The statement added: "We will spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed. All over the world they are being abandoned, but in Scotland they are being built."
Last year Trump told The Scotsman newspaper he would never have gone ahead with the development had he not been given assurances that the turbines would not be built.
But Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said the experimental wind farm in Aberdeen Bay was important.
"Offshore renewables represent a huge opportunity for Scotland; an opportunity to build up new industries and to deliver on our ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction targets," he said in a statement.
The go-ahead was warmly met by the environmentalist charity Friends of the Earth Scotland.
"Offshore wind will be a huge part of our energy future and this scheme is a big step forward," said director Richard Dixon.
"Well done to the Scottish Government for standing up to Donald Trump's threats and bluster."
The project, called the European Offshore Wind Centre, will be able to generate enough energy for almost half of the homes in Aberdeen.
(Reporting by Oxana Andrienko; editing by Steve Addison/Maria Golovnina)