Property tycoon Donald Trump has threatened to delay a wind turbine development for a decade unless the government's marine development body accedes to his demand for a public inquiry into the scheme.
The US-based entrepreneur has been waging a campaign against the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC), a turbine testing facility proposed for an offshore site close to his new golf development in Aberdeen.
He has been calling for an inquiry into the scheme for a year, but Trump Organisation executive vice president George Sorial confirmed that he had instructed UK lawyers Dundas & Wilson to formally ask Marine Scotland to begin proceedings.
Mr Trump wants the EOWDC to be put "on an equal footing" with his golf development, which was the subject of a five-week inquiry in 2008.
If Marine Scotland refuses his request for an inquiry, Mr Trump has threatened a protracted round of legal battles which Mr Sorial said could last a decade.
But Mr Sorial declined to link the future development of the golf resort, which has planning approval for future houses and a hotel, with the outcome of the EOWDC bid.
When asked if the Trump Organisation would leave the resort unfinished if the EOWDC was approved, Mr Sorial said it would "arrive at the decision when we are facing it".
Mr Sorial told the Press Association: "Our development on Aberdeen Bay underwent a five week inquiry, which concluded that it was a development of national significance to Scotland, and that decision was upheld by Scottish ministers and very publicly by the First Minister himself.
"The nature of the correspondence between Dundas & Wilson emphasises the national significance of our development, and calls on Marine Scotland to take this into consideration when looking into a public inquiry on the EOWDC.
"We want to provide the opportunity for us and anybody else who is against the development to cross-examine the parties involved."