Market testing exercise for Middlefield Triangle area

A market testing exercise is to be undertaken for the Middlefield Triangle area to find out what type of buildings the private sector would recommend for the site.

The exercise will look into all types of retail, green space or housing for the area, which is being created when a connecting road is built between North Anderson Drive and Great Northern Road to ease traffic flow on the Haudagain roundabout.

Middlefield Triangle is the area left in between the three roads and a report to Aberdeen City Council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee today gave an update for the next stage of what is happening to the site.

The report said the plans for the Triangle Site will ensure that physical and social barriers are removed for those with a disability and they will be able to access services provided as well as public space.

The main aim of this work is to regenerate Middlefield and reduce social isolation for all, which will positively impact on its residents. Retail provision will ensure better access to shops for everyone in the community, but particularly for older people and people without access to a car or who find accessing public transport difficult. Provision of green space will have positive benefits on health and wellbeing for local people.

The report said the community has been regularly involved, informed and consulted throughout the development of this work in the last 18 or so months and the engagement will continue.

The report explained the current housing in the Triangle area is of very poor quality and in a state of general disrepair and the proposals put forward would be far more aesthetically pleasing and sustainable. The green space proposed could have a positive effect upon air quality via the provision of plants, trees and shrubs.

A public consultation was held earlier this year to find out local opinion what should be done to the area.

The options presented to the community for consultation were for retail and green space, or retail, green space and housing. Of 131 respondents, 68 people indicated that their first choice for the site would be retail and green space, whilst 63 respondents indicated that they would prefer retail, green space and housing. The 131 respondents represent 4.5% of the Middlefield population.

The report said while being consistent with previous community consultation exercises of this nature, the figures are considered as being inconclusive for the purpose of making a definitive recommendation to committee to proceed with one option. Therefore, the recommendation to committee is that market testing the site against both options would be a useful step in this consultation process.

The committee voted with the recommendations, including to instruct officers to carry out a market testing exercise to determine interest in one or both of the options and report back to the January 2018 meeting of the committee.

The recommendations also included further dialogue with the City Council’s Economic Development Service to gauge potential demand for business incubator units in the Triangle Site.

The recommendation further included that officers will gauge potential demand for land in the Middlefield area for Early Learning and Childcare provision and staff training facility.

The report said the next steps would be maintain community engagement, continue previously agreed actions to secure vacant possession of properties on the Triangle Site by 31 December 2017, develop detailed drawings for the green space options and report back to CHI committee in January 2018, formally market retail space, and once an option is agreed, the interim director of communities, housing and infrastructure will write to the Scottish Government regarding regeneration funding for this site.