Trump to give evidence at Holyrood next month

US tycoon Donald Trump is due to give evidence next month to a Holyrood committee investigating renewable energy.

He will be questioned by MSPs on April 25 over his opposition to wind turbines, which he has claimeds threaten to blight much of the scenic beauty of Scotland.

Mr Trump is embroiled in a war of words with First Minister Alex Salmond over the contentious plans for 11 wind turbines, each 639ft tall, off the Aberdeen coast and near to the billionaire’s golf course development at Menie.

He has argued on several occasions that the £200 million project will spoil the views from what he has described as “the greatest golf course in the world”.

News of his appearance before the economy, energy and tourism committee came as it emerged that Mr Trump has lodged plans with Aberdeenshire Council for an entrance to his Menie Estate, including a clock tower.

The tycoon and Communities Against Turbines will give evidence on the same day to the inquiry into Scottish Government green energy targets.

They are included in a lengthy list of witnesses scheduled to appear over the next three months.

The MSPs are exploring whether government targets are achievable and what the impact will be on communities and tourism.

Other areas include skills and technology, the planning system and the electricity grid.

Separate evidence sessions have been arranged for planning experts and senior figures from Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Marine Scotland.

Representatives from companies involved in the manufacture of renewable energy devices are also to give evidence, as well as members of Ramblers Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.

Committee convener Murdo Fraser said the list of witnesses “reflects the range of information and views that will contribute to our consideration of the technological, infrastructure and financial challenges of meeting targets.”

He added: “During the course of these sessions, we will exlpore the merits of the targets, as well as the risks and barriers to these targets.”

A formal application for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre project in Aberdeen Bay was lodged with Marine Scotland last August. A decision is expected later this year.

The developers claim the centre will provide hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and help to secure the North-east of Scotland’s economic future.