Aberdeen Station Gateway agreed

A part of the City Masterplan which is designed to revitalise public transport and pedestrian links in Aberdeen have taken a step forward when the planning, design and development principles for the Station Gateway were given the go-ahead by a City Council committee.

At a meeting of Communities, Housing and Infrastructure committee yesterday, a report was approved for the Station Gateway, which is part of the Masterplan, which is a 20-year blueprint for the future development of the city centre involving close collaboration between the public and private sectors.

The report asked committee members to approve the Draft Development Brief for consultation with key stakeholders over a four week period which starts on 25 January 2016. The results of that consultation will be presented to the Communities Housing and Infrastructure committee on 15 March 2016.

A key focus of the Gateway is around the Rail Station, Union Square, Guild Street, Atholl House, and The Trinity Centre, with the aim to improve public transport, cycling and pedestrian connectivity and activity in the area. As the central focus of public transport activity in the city centre, the Gateway has connection with and influence on each of the other areas in the city centre.

Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Infrastructure convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: "The Station Gateway is an important part of connectivity for people getting into, and around, the city centre in the future.

"We want a city which is easy to get around in and the Station Gateway as part of the Masterplan will make a big difference for both residents and visitors to Aberdeen."

The report also asked for approval for City Council officers to work in partnership with Scottish Enterprise to develop an economics and design capacity study for The Trinity Centre.

The report said as part of the Station Gateway, the City Council is also asked to consider entering an agreement with Network Rail for a long (175 year) lease for the airspace and land required for a new deck structure to be constructed over the railway track to help facilitate development of the Atholl House site. The detail around this issue is intended to be reported separately to the Property Sub Committee in early 2016, which would also contain the financial implications of the lease.

The Station Gateway is a critical component in the delivery of the agreed City Masterplan which is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the heart of Aberdeen, and could help create 5,500 jobs and generate a £280m increase in GVA. It has cross-party political support within the City Council, backing from north-east business leaders and city universities, and thousands of residents have taken part in the consultation process so far.