Trump Organization ordered to pay $290,000 after losing battle against Scottish wind farm

Trump Organization ordered to pay $290,000 after losing battle against Scottish wind farm

President Trump. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)
President Trump. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

By Joshua Partlow November 13, 2019 at 5:46 a.m. GMT+10:30

The Trump Organization has agreed to pay $290,000 to the Scottish government, ending a multiyear legal battle in which Donald Trump tried and failed to block an offshore wind farm from being built in view of one of his Scottish golf courses.

The agreement to pay the government’s legal fees ends the company’s bitter public dispute with the Scottish government. Over the years, Trump repeatedly criticized former Scottish first minister Alex Salmond about the wind farm and warned that it would cause “almost total destruction” of the country’s tourism industry.

A Scottish government spokesman said that the settlement — first reported by the Scotsman newspaper — removed the need for an independent auditor to determine expenses to be paid by the Trump Organization.

“Expenses amounting to [$290,000] will now be paid to Scottish Ministers by the Petitioners,” the spokesman said in a statement.AD

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

President Trump has a long-standing disdain for wind power that has carried over into his political speeches. Trump has said windmills cause cancer, kill birds and prevent people from watching television when the wind is not blowing.

The 11-turbine wind farm in Aberdeen Bay began operating last summer and is clearly visible from the fairways and greens of the Trump International Golf Links, Scotland, outside the northeastern city of Aberdeen.

During the planning process for the wind farm, the Trump Organization sued the Scottish government to block it.

Trump was angry at what he called a “monstrous” project and said the turbines would destroy the view of “perhaps the greatest golf course anywhere in the world.”

Trump wrote in a 2013 op-ed in the Scottish Mail on Sunday that he had instructed his lawyers to launch an “all-out challenge” to “Mad Alex,” as he called Salmond, to fight the wind farm in the country where Trump’s mother was born.AD

“I am going to fight him for as long as it takes — to hell if I have to — and spend as much as it takes to block this useless and grotesque blot on our heritage,” he wrote.

Judges on the U.K. Supreme Court unanimously rejected Trump’s legal challenge in 2015. In February, the Trump Organization was ordered to pay the Scottish government’s legal bills. But the issue was not resolved for several months because the Scottish government said that the Trump Organization had not agreed to an amount.

Trump’s Aberdeen golf course lost $1.4 million including depreciation last year, its seventh consecutive year of losses under Trump, according to documents filed with the British government. The course’s operating loss for the year was $1.1 million.

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