A section of the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project is given planning permission

A major milestone for the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project was reached today when a section of the route was unanimously given full planning permission at committee.

The permission is for formation of road with associated footways, cycle tracks, street lighting, drainage, landscaping, earthworks and associated works for the section from Kittybrewster/St Machar roundabout to Ashgrove Road.

Other sections of the route to the south, such as Caroline Place, are in a conservation area and require listed building and conservation area consents, and due to be determined soon. 

The project will be a major upgrade to the city’s roads network as Berryden Road and nearby roads are currently operating beyond capacity leading to significant congestion and journey time delays, particularly at peak times. It will improve the efficiency of the road, cycleway and pavement network through improving journey time reliability, relieving congestion, and improving infrastructure for walking and cycling. 

The Berryden Corridor Improvement Project involves widening the existing road and junction improvements between Skene Square and Ashgrove Road, and the construction of a new section of road between Ashgrove Road and Kittybrewster roundabout adding more than 1.7miles of additional lane capacity in total. The improved section of road would have traffic light junctions instead of roundabouts, except for the Kittybrewster/St Machar roundabout which will remain. 

Once complete, the project will provide more than 10 new pedestrian crossings, about 1 mile of additional pavements, and more than 2 miles of new cycle tracks, all aimed at encouraging people to walk and cycle more. 

The improved road will build on the benefits gained from the opening of Diamond Bridge, which has about 12,000 vehicles going over it daily, relieving congestion at the Bridge of the Don and the Haudagain roundabout, while further improving connections within the city. 

The applications were supported by various assessments including those considering for noise, flooding, ecology and heritage implications and proposals for mitigation. The submitted traffic modelling appraisal details the project will lead to increased traffic along the corridor however, there will be journey time reductions from 5% to 40% along the Corridor at busiest times of day. Across the wider local area radiating from the Corridor, the traffic modelling indicates numbers of vehicles queueing will be lower, with peak period queueing reduced by from 7% to 20%. 

The planning permission application follows on from various consultation events held with the public as part of the process to keep the local community informed of the scheme. 

A public exhibition giving information was held in Sainsbury’s supermarket in Berryden in November 2019 along with an accompanying online exhibition on the council’s website attracting about 1,500 interactions from the public. Other consultation events are being carried out with key stakeholders in the local community. 

Aberdeen City Council transport spokeswoman Councillor Sandra Macdonald said: “The planning permission granted today is welcome news for the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project. 

“It is a significant step towards delivering this roads network scheme which will help journey time reliability, relieve congestion, and improve infrastructure for walking and cycling. 

 “I look forward to the next stage of the project.” 

The Berryden Corridor Improvement Project is one of several major capital projects being undertaken by ACC as part of a £1billion transformational programme across the city, including the Diamond Bridge, the city bypass (AWPR B/T), the airport link road, the TECA complex, the Art Gallery, and the Music Hall. 

The process for compulsory purchase was started by Aberdeen City Council in 2018 and the Order is currently with the Scottish Government for consideration. The compulsory purchase order for the Berryden Corridor Improvement Project aims to acquire the remaining land of about 100 plots required for the scheme, and the City Council already owns or controls about 80% of the land needed for the Corridor. It should be noted the compulsory purchase order relates only to plots of land, not buildings. 

The Planning Authority will now go through the statutory process for each of the applications with their determination expected later in the year. 

More information about the project can be found at  https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/roads-transport-and-parking/berryden-corridor-improvement.