Application for a major development reaches new milestone

An application to develop the historic Broadford Works site into a mixture of converted and new urban residential and retail space has been approved in principle.

Aberdeen City Council’s planning department made the decision yesterday (14 Sept) under delegated powers which could see a variety of uses including private and student apartments, restaurants, cafes and bars as well as office and retail space developed on the site.

The plans for almost 900 units, which were submitted to the local authority in February this year, also include studio workshops and gallery space as well car parking and open spaces.

Aberdeen City Council’s Planning Development Management Committee convener Councillor Ramsay Milne said: “Broadford Works is a site of great significance in Aberdeen and the decision represents the next stage in plans for its redevelopment.

“The scheme will create an entirely new and distinctive city centre neighbourhood all the while preserving the most important listed buildings on the site and retaining its industrial heritage and character for the residents of Aberdeen to enjoy.”

The development was approved subject to a legal agreement and a number of conditions such as no development can start without transport, waste and parking management plans being submitted for consideration and that each of the unit would either connect to the city’s district heating network or an onsite network.

Developers Ferness Investment Holdings Ltd will now also have to bring forward a detailed phasing programme outlining the delivery of buildings which will need to be approved by the planning authority before any development work can take place.

The decision was made just days before a special event focussing on the history of Aberdeen’s Broadford Works is being held.

On Saturday 17 September, an exhibit from the Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives and the city’s museum collection will feature material and artefacts showcasing the history of the industrial building. At one time Richards was the biggest manufacturing employer in Aberdeen and in its heyday employed up to 3,000 staff

Items on display will include a pattern book with fabric samples from the late 19th century and the certification of Richards’ incorporation as a limited company from 1898.

The archive collection also includes a small quantity of staff records and some early examples will be on display at the event, including a Porter’s Book from the later 1910s which recorded staff who were late to work.

Plans of key buildings on the site, including the New North and South Mill and the Bastille, from the archive’s building warrant collection will also be on display as well as footage of Broadford Works from the collections of the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive