US businessman Donald Trump has told a Holyrood committee that he "cannot proceed" with his golf resort in Scotland if a planned project for wind turbines goes ahead.
The billionaire is building a £750m golf resort at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire and has become embroiled in a war of words with the Scottish Government over wind turbines.
At a Scottish Parliament committee on renewable energy on Wednesday morning, Mr Trump confirmed that his future investment in the site depended entirely on the decision regarding the turbines. He said: "I will start work on the hotel immediately if I hear that the horrendous wind farm will not go ahead."
He explained that he would never have invested in Scotland if he knew the wind farm would be approved.
Donald Trump was defiant throughout the committee meeting claiming that his Aberdeenshire golf resort was better for Scotland than plans for a wind farm in the area.
On a number of occasions he also expressed his disappointment at the way he had been treated by the Scottish Government indicating that his experience would deter other investors away from Scotland.
He also said his experience was “evidence” to confirm wind turbines are a bad idea and he demonstrated anger by referring to Kenny MacAskill’s decision to free Megrahi as an example of flawed decision-making.
The business tycoon complained that he was misled by the Scottish Government and explained that he had no objection to the plans for the turbines but if they were to go ahead he would not buy the site in Aberdeenshire but invest in Ireland instead.
He said: "After I have spent my money they announce these atrocious plans. By the time I bought the land I felt confident that the wind turbines were not going to go ahead."
Mr Trump explained: "Jack McConnell (First Minister at the time) said it wouldn't happen because the MOD wouldn't approve it and because of shipping lines. Based on that I decided to go forward."
He also explained that First Minister Alex Salmond had "poo pooed" the turbine plan and had told Mr Trump not to worry.
Mr Trump also said Scotland would "go broke" if wind turbines continue to be built.
He said: “If you want to scatter your landscape with these horrible, horrible structures you will do tremendous damage.”
Chic Brodie MSP asked Mr Trump to qualify his opinion with evidence to which the American replied: “I am the evidence.”
He said that he was an expert in tourism, with “many, many awards” to his name and he knows far more about effects of turbines than any expert he could hire.
The US businessman offered support to technologies such as wind and wave, but warned: "Wind turbines, made in China, are going to be the destruction - almost a total destruction - of your tourism industry."
He added: “China is decimating the atmosphere and there is nothing you can do by your so called wind initiative.”
Mr Trump also issued a warning to the committee, he said: “You have to be careful. If the UK takes away subsidy you will have a major problem on your hands.”
He claimed that Scotland was “20 years behind” in renewables technology and countries such as Germany and Spain had moved away from wind turbines because their governments could no longer afford to subsidise these projects.
In reference to his Aberdeenshire development at Menie Estate, he told MSPs: "I've spent a tremendous amount of money - debt-free, no debt on the property, nothing - building what many are already considering to be the greatest golf course anywhere in the world.
"I don't want to see it destroyed by having 11 monstrosities built looming over it, literally one mile away."
Despite it being an offshore turbine testing centre in the North Sea, Mr Trump said: "It's actually land-based, it's not sea-based, because when you're talking about one mile you're really talking about land-based. We don't want this to happen."
Concern was also raised by representatives from Communities Against Turbines Scotland who argued there was not enough benefit from the renewable industry to the local area. Mark Gibson said: "Where are the jobs? Where is the investment locally?"
He said that wind farms offer very few jobs for local people and branded the argument of job creation as a "careless bribe".
MSPs on the committee are to investigate how achievable the Scottish Government's 2020 renewable energy targets are.
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