Major Aberdeen development plans laid bare


Aberdeen City Council approves first phase including new stadium Image: Aberdeen FC

Councilors approved the commencement of preparatory work for the first phase in the transformation of Aberdeen’s (City in Scotland, UK) beachfront on December 14th.

‘Aberdeen City Council’ stated that a report on the short-term intervention stage of the Beach Masterplan – which will focus on developing an urban park, an events park and new landscaping and structures on Broad Hill in Aberdeen, UK, was considered in the full Council meeting and Councilors agreed that officers should progress with all relevant statutory consents required ahead of works commencing.

Councilors also instructed officers to begin early discussions with the Planning Authority ahead of submitting applications and that a Full Business Case (FBC) be reported to the Council in August 2023.

A Full Business Case (FBC) provides the justification for an investment of public money. A business case must be produced for all public sector expenditure, but with levels of effort and detail in proportion with the scale of proposed investment.

Councilors also agreed to a motion by Council Co Leader, Councilor Ian Yuill, to include cycle lanes as part of the first phase interventions.

‘Aberdeen City Council’ further stated that the report followed a six-week period of public engagement and consultation, including engagement with children and young people, on the proposals, for which the majority of respondents were in favor.

Proposals for the urban park include a play park, sports area and pump track, canopies and now a cycle track while the events field is planned to be home to an amphitheater, events field and hub building.

Broad Hill will be relandscaped and include new structures from which the revamped beach area can be viewed.

Council Co Leader, Councilor Alex Nicoll, exulted, “I am delighted that we have been able to agree to these important steps towards making the first phase of the Beach Masterplan a reality. Having such a fabulous stretch of beach on our doorstep is a real asset to the City. It is vitally important that we do everything we can to enhance the immediate area to make our seafront the envy of other Cities and a place where local people and visitors alike will want to return to again and again.”

Fellow Co Leader, Councilor Ian Yuill, remarked, “Our aim is to make the beach area a fantastic public realm with multiple outdoor facilities and a welcoming landscape that will play host to events and become an attraction in its own right, as well as being a gateway to the sands and sea. Today (December 14th) is an important milestone in the process and we look forward to continuing to drive forward with our plans for transforming the beach area for the enjoyment of everyone.”

Shaping Aberdeen Future

‘Scottish Housing News’ stated that the Aberdeen Local Development Plan was approved at the Full Council on March 2nd, 2020 and has been Aberdeen City Council’s settled view on what should be included in the final adopted Local Development Plan.

At a meeting of Aberdeen City Council’s Full Council on December 14th, it was agreed modifications and minor drafting changes should be made to the Plan, and that it would be formally adopted.

‘Scottish Housing News’ further stated that the plan includes several policies to encourage more tourism and cultural activities in the City Centre and the seven City Centre Masterplan Interventions Areas are also identified.

Health and wellbeing are key components of the plan, reflecting both their historic connection with planning and the need to ensure that healthcare services are provided, as well as creating environments that foster health, encourage active lifestyles and reduce inequalities in well-being. This ‘Health for All’ theme will be further developed in future guidance.

The plan also looks to help address climate change by ensuring developments are resilient to changing weather patterns as well as protecting assets such as flood plains and carbon-rich soils. It also promotes a low carbon economy through, for instance, encouraging greater energy efficiency, heat networks and greener transport and infrastructure.

Commented Councilor Dell Henrickson, Aberdeen City Council Planning Committee Convener, “We welcome the adoption of the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2023 at a meeting of the Full Council on December 14th. The Plan should help to shape the future of the City by encouraging growth and including important changes such as the City Centre Masterplan interventions.”

Added Councilor Desmond Bouse, Aberdeen City Council Planning Committee Vice-Convener, “It is important that the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2023 includes resilience measures for addressing climate change. It will also promote a low carbon economy through, for instance, encouraging greater energy efficiency, heat networks and greener transport and infrastructure.”

The report to committee said the Full Council agreed to the content of the Proposed Aberdeen Local Development Plan on March 3rd, 2020 and, following a period for representations and consideration of those representations, the City Council agreed for the Proposed Plan to be submitted to Scottish Ministers for an Examination in Public on June 21st, 2021.

The Examination in Public began in November 2021 and the Scottish Government Reporters have now completed their Examination of the Plan which outlined modifications and minor changes.

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