Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers

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Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers
Middlesex.guildhall.london.arp.jpg
Court Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Full case name Trump International Golf Club Scotland Limited and another (Appellants) v The Scottish Ministers (Respondents) (Scotland)
Argued 8 October 2015
Decided 16 December 2015
Neutral Citation [2015] UKSC 74
Case history
Prior action(s) [2015] CSIH 46
Holding
The Scottish Ministers have the power to grant consent to windfarm applications under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989.
Case opinions
Majority Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath and Lord Hodge
Area of Law
Planning Law

Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd v The Scottish Ministers [2015] UKSC 74 was a 2015 judgment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom concerning the authority of the Scottish Government to allow windfarm applications under the Electricity Act 1989.

Facts

Trump International Golf Links is a golf resort based in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire. In 2011 Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Ltd applied to construct and operate the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre about 3.5 km from the resort. The proposed windfarm would be visible from the resort. The appellants, Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd, opposed the development but in 2013 the Scottish Ministers gave their consent for the creation of the windfarm to go ahead. This consent was then challenged by the appellants on two grounds:

  1. The Scottish Ministers were not persons able to give consent under sections 5 or 6 of the Electricity Act 1989.
  2. Condition 14 of the consent required the submission and approval of a design statement and should therefore make the consent void for uncertainty.

Judgment

Court of Session

On the first ground the Lord President stated that "The scheme of the legislation is that the granting of a consent under section 36 and the granting of a licence or an exemption under sections 6 and 5 respectively, are two separate processes." On the second ground he stated that "If a design statement is not satisfactory to the Ministers, there will be no approval of the construction method statement without which the development cannot begin. There is no ambiguity when condition 14 is read in that way."[1] The other two judges who sat on the case concurred with this reasoning.

Supreme Court

Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd appealed to the Supreme Court but this was unanimously dismissed. On the first ground it was held that the nature of the Electricity Act 1989 did not support the appellant's argument. The Act sought to liberalise the electricity market in Britain and it is not necessarily the case that those who build generating stations would also be the persons generating the electricity. On the second ground it was held that even if condition 14 was unenforceable this would not be enough to invalidate the consent.[2]

Reaction

Trump International Golf Links

Alex Salmond, the former Scottish First Minister stated that Donald Trump was "three times a loser". A spokesperson for the Trump Organisation responded to this by saying: "Does anyone care what this man thinks? He’s a has-been and totally irrelevant. The fact that he doesn’t even know what’s going on in his own constituency says it all ... He should go back to doing what he does best: unveiling pompous portraits of himself that pander to his already over-inflated ego."[3]

The director of WWF Scotland stated "This result is great news for Scotland and for all those interested in tackling climate change and creating jobs."[4]

See also

References

  1. [2015] CSIH 46
  2. "New Judgment: Trump International Golf Club Scotland Ltd & Anor v The Scottish Ministers (Scotland) [2015] UKSC 74". UKSC blog. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Owen Bowcott and Esther Addley (16 December 2015). "Alex Salmond brands Trump 'loser' after judges reject windfarm appeal | Environment". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Donald Trump loses wind farm legal challenge". BBC. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links