Council welcomes ruling on Aberdeen Local Development Plan challenge

Aberdeen City Council has welcomed a decision by the Court of Session to refuse Tesco's legal challenge against the Aberdeen Local Development Plan.

The case related to Tesco's site at Rousay Drive. The supermarket chain brought the challenge seeking to have the whole Local Development Plan quashed. Had Tesco been successful in the challenge, the development of land allocations in the Plan would have been impeded.

An earlier attempt to have the Plan suspended pending the outcome of the case was thrown out.

Council leader Councillor Barney Crockett said: "Aberdeen's Local Development Plan was the first in Scotland to be adopted and was warmly welcomed by the business community as paving the way for the future development of the city, making it clear that this is a city that is going places.

"I think it is really disappointing that Tesco tried to have the Plan for the entire city quashed and went through a lengthy and costly court process, which undoubtedly delayed the progression of potential projects on new opportunity sites in Aberdeen, because the company was unhappy at the prospect of a rival setting up shop nearby.

"I'm delighted that the court has ruled in our favour and have no doubt that confidence can be restored in Aberdeen's economic strength, which will see this leading world energy city continue to grow and develop and attract further investment."

Councillor Ramsay Milne, convener of the Development Management Sub-committee said: "I'm very pleased for the city that the judges have ruled in our favour. This sends out a strong message about the robustness of the Plan and its importance in the future residential and business development of Aberdeen.

"Today's ruling will boost the confidence of people wanting to invest and develop in our city and help to ensure that housing and business needs are met."

Chief executive Valerie Watts said: "This is fantastic news for Aberdeen. The legal challenge from Tesco threw considerable doubt on the future development of the city, which had been clearly mapped out by the Plan, and knocked the confidence of developers and investors. A huge amount of work went into drawing up the plan, and planners were praised for the level of engagement they had with residents and the business community to ensure it fitted the needs and desires for Aberdeen's future.

"Today's ruling allows us to get on with the job in hand, restoring investor and developer confidence and helping our city to grow and develop, ensuring that there is plenty of housing, business and recreational land available to secure Aberdeen's future as a city with a growing economy which remains an attractive place to live, work, learn, invest and do business in."

The Aberdeen Local Development Plan was formally adopted on 28 February 2012. It was the first in Scotland to be approved and adopted under new legislation.

It sets out the Council's priorities for regenerating parts of Aberdeen and for supporting a thriving city centre, as well as creating a blueprint for the development of the city over the next decade.

The Plan sets out how the city will grow over the next decade, and identifies land for housing and business, signalling to developers that Aberdeen is paving the way for business and providing opportunities for them to make things happen and for the city to thrive.

The Aberdeen Local Development Plan includes a requirement for housing developers to include at least 25 per cent affordable housing in all their developments.

It sets out the Council's priorities for regenerating parts of Aberdeen and for supporting a thriving city centre.

Scottish Government Reporters looked into representations made after the plan was published and recommended minor modifications, but on the whole found it was based on sound evidence and consistent with Scottish Government Planning Policy.

The Plan contains a spatial strategy which explains the Council's overall view of where development should go and the principles behind that. It identifies future development sites and the scale of development expected on each.