An important planning document which will help to shape future land use of Aberdeen and guide planning decisions including housing developments, leisure and industrial zones was today approved at Full Council.
The Proposed Aberdeen Local Development Plan and Delivery Programme are now the Council’s settled view and they will be a material consideration when determining planning applications.
The Proposed Plan includes several policy changes to encourage more tourism and cultural activities in the city centre and includes the seven City Centre Masterplan Interventions Areas are also identified for the first time. In addition, it is proposed to change the Union Street retail frontage policy to an active frontage policy which will allow for a greater range of uses such as services, leisure, food and drinks if an open, public and active frontage is maintained. This is in response to a decline in demand for purely retail uses along Union Street and the risk of creating long-term vacancies.
Health and wellbeing are key components of the Proposed Plan, reflecting both their historic connection with planning and the need to ensure that healthcare services are provided, as well as create 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 as outlined in the recommendation.
The Proposed 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.
Aberdeen City Council planning development management committee convener councillor Marie Boulton said: “The Proposed Local Development Plan is a huge step in helping to continue to create a city that’s a fantastic place for everyone live, work and visit.
“It fits in with the themes of the Local Outcome Improvement Plan of a prosperous place, a prosperous economy and prosperous people and we look forward to watching the developments come forward in years to come.”
The Proposed Plan follows consultation undertaken on the main issues report which was carried out in spring 2019, which attracted 633 representations and made about 2,000 points. About 140 development proposals were submitted by developers and landowners for inclusion into the Proposed Plan. These were assessed against several criteria to determine their suitability.
Much of the content of the Proposed Plan remains similar that in the 2017 Local Development Plan. However, several new opportunity sites have been identified. These are: Cloverhill – residential development (previously employment land); North Denmore – residential; site at Dubford – residential; Balgownie Area 4 – residential; Silverburn House – residential; former Cordyce School – housing, garden centre and/or health and fitness; former Bucksburn Primary School – medical centre or residential; Central Park Dyce – medical centre; Old Skene Road – residential; Kingsford – new stadium and training facilities; St Fitticks Park and Doonies – Energy Transition Zone; Summerfield House, Eday Road – Residential; Woodend Hospital – Residential; Hazlehead Park – hotel and equestrian Centre; Granitehill – residential; 152 Don Street Old Aberdeen – residential; Denburn Valley – City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Former Raeden Centre – residential; Frederick Street – small brownfield opportunity, Mastrick Clinic – uses supporting Mastrick Neighbourhood Centre; Queen’s Square - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Urquhart Building, City Hospital – residential; Resource Centre, City Hospital – small scale retail, commercial or office; Kaimhill Outdoor Centre – residential; Union Street West - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Tillydrone Primary School – new primary school; Station Gateway - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Castlegate and Castlehill - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; North Dee - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Torry Waterfront - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Heart of the City - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Tillyoch, Peterculter – residential; Craigton, Peterculter and Royal Devenick Park - residential.
Another feature of the Proposed Plan is an Energy Transition Zone beside the new Aberdeen South Harbour, to capitalise on Aberdeen’s expertise and location when the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems to renewable energy sources like wind, tidal and solar. Two sites have been identified for this at St Fitticks Park and Doonies and a new policy will allow for the development, production, assembly, storage and/or distribution of infrastructure required to support low-carbon and renewable energy-related industries.
There will now be a 12 week consultation period from late Spring, an advice note published informing people of the procedures for representations and examination of the Proposed Plan, a meeting will be held with community council representatives to explain the process, and there will be a series of staffed exhibitions held at venues across the city where people can ask questions and receive advice. Details of these will be publicised in due course.
The Council will consider the representations from the 12-week period and where objections cannot be resolved, an Examination in Public will be held before Scottish Government Reporters. Following this, it would be expected the Local Development Plan would be adopted in early 2022.