Proposals for Union Terrace Gardens go on show
Proposals were unveiled today for a £20 million revitalisation of Union Terrace Gardens (UTG), a key Aberdeen City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) project.
A public engagement exercise was also launched today and will run until December 9. Residents are being asked to share their views by completing a survey.
The designs for UTG have been drawn up by award-winning landscape design consultancy, LDA Design, based on concepts in the CCMP. Features include:
• New accessible walkway route into the gardens from Union Street and lift access into the lower level of the gardens through a new entrance building on Union Street
• Lift access from Union Terrace into the upper level of the gardens through a new entrance building on Union Terrace at the existing Burns Monument
• New disabled parking spaces on Union Terrace directly adjacent to the new accessible walkway routes into the gardens
• Retaining the central lawn space as a flexible space for large scale gathering and events, and a new entrance plaza opposite His Majesty’s Theatre to accommodate smaller scale events
• Reinstating the ‘grand staircase’ as a central part of the new accessible route into the gardens from Rosemount Viaduct
• Retaining maximum number of existing trees as possible
Aberdeen City Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: "I am delighted with the proposals that LDA Design has brought forward for Union Terrace Gardens as part of our City Centre Masterplan.
"LDA was tasked with improving access, amenity and activity while conserving UTG’s rich heritage – what residents asked for during a consultation on the Masterplan itself.
"These proposals respect the unique character of the Gardens while making the space more usable for all. I would urge all residents to share their views so the LDA can refine the design and ensure we get the best result for everyone."
Deputy Council leader Marie Boulton, who chairs the cross-party City Centre Regeneration Board, said: “LDA Design has presented us with a vision we believe everyone can unite behind. They have taken as their starting point priorities spelled during the Masterplan consultation, in which thousands of people participated.
“It became very clear that UTG was important to residents as a garden space, one that would require sensitive handling but also significant interventions to make it a place for all.
“LDA Design has responded magnificently to those wishes and challenges, honouring UTG’s character and setting while offering imaginative new ways to transform the Gardens and the Denburn Valley.”
The proposals have been costed at approximately £20 million and if approved will be funded from the existing City Centre Masterplan budget, with a target completion date of autumn 2019.
Feedback gathered during the public engagement exercise will be used by the design team to inform the drawing up of detailed plans for UTG, with a report is expected to go to Full Council in March, 2017.
Kirstin Taylor, Project Director, LDA Design, said: “Our aim is to make the Gardens everyone’s favourite all-year-round destination.
“The proposals enhance what is there, keeping as many trees as possible and providing a rich new planting scheme."
Neil Mattinson, Board Director, LDA Design, said: “The community’s ongoing participation is key to the success of the Gardens.
“We have taken on board a wide range of views and challenges identified by locals. We will continue to take on board views to inform the detailed development of proposals which we will work on in the New Year."
A link to the engagement survey can be found here: https://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/consultation/union-terrace-gardens