DONALD Trump has claimed he is proud to have "saved the magnificent" Balmedie Dunes" reserve - despite announcing he is to sell off part of his north-eastern estate after withdrawing plans to build another golf course in Scotland.
The US tycoon further criticised offshore wind farms, which he blames for his decision to sell at the Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeenshire. He said: "I am very proud of what I have done for Scotland in saving the magnificent dunes and creating what is considered to be, perhaps, the single greatest golf course in the world today."
Mr Trump said it had brought a lot of business to the country, but he added: "The wind turbines proposed for Aberdeen Bay, if built, will have a devastating impact on the environment, business, tourism and the cost of electricity and energy for home-owners, not to mention the thousands of birds that will be killed on a monthly basis."
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Earlier, Mr Trump's son Donald jnr said that land around the championship course at Menie, Aberdeenshire, could now be sold off as the developer directs efforts "elsewhere" after losing a legal bid against offshore wind turbines.
Mr Trump has been involved in a battle with the Scottish Government over plans to build the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). He lodged plans in October for a second course, but has now withdrawn them. Now Donald Jnr has said that other plans to develop the area could also be scrapped.
He said: "The golf course is safe. It is part of the Trump portfolio. But we will not be investing in the other parts of the project. How could we spend any more capital when we are faced with this environment?"
Mr Trump has long threatened to pull the plug on his Scottish development if the turbines are built. He announced the purchase of Doonbeg Golf Club, County Clare, in Ireland just hours after the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled against him.
Sarah Malone, Executive Vice President at Trump International Golf Links Scotland, said: "Everyone taking decisions in government are failing to understand that they will not get both projects.
"It is either one or the other - we won't 'muddle through'. They are mutually exclusive. It is either 30 jobs generated by the EOWDC or 4000 jobs created by the Trump development."
A Scottish government spokesman said it was up to Mr Trump where his company invested, but added: "With an estimated 25% of Europe's offshore wind potential, the offshore wind industry in Scotland can deliver billions of pounds of investment and create thousands of jobs while playing a critical role in the fight against climate change."