Proposed Local Development Plan now open to comments from the public

An important planning document which will help to shape future land use of Aberdeen and guide planning decisions including housing developments, leisure and industrial zones is today (20 May) open to the public for comments.

The Proposed Aberdeen Local Development Plan and Delivery Programme was approved at Full Council on 2 March and are now the Council’s settled view on what should be included in the final adopted Local Development Plan. The Proposed Plan, and supporting documents, can be found at https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building/local-development-plan/aberdeen-local-development-plan/aberdeen-local-development-plan-review.

The Proposed Plan includes several policy changes to encourage more tourism and cultural activities in the city centre and includes the seven City Centre Masterplan Interventions Areas are also identified for the first time. In addition, it is proposed to change the Union Street retail frontage policy to an active frontage policy which will allow for a greater range of uses such as services, leisure, food and drink if an open, public and active frontage is maintained. This is in response to decline in demand for purely retail uses along Union Street, and the risk of creating long-term vacancies.

Health and wellbeing are key components of the Proposed Plan, reflecting both their historic connection with planning and the need to ensure that healthcare services are provided, as well as create environments that foster health, encourage active lifestyles, and reduce inequalities in well-being. This health for all theme will be further developed in future guidance as outlined in the recommendation.

The Proposed Plan also looks to help address climate change, by ensuring developments are resilient to changing weather patterns as well as protecting assets such as flood plains and carbon-rich soils. It also promotes a low carbon economy through, for instance, encouraging greater energy efficiency, heat networks and greener transport and infrastructure.

The period for the public making representations to the Proposed Plan is now open and will take place for 14.5 weeks which is more than eight weeks longer than the statutory minimum.

Aberdeen City Council planning development management committee convener Councillor Marie Boulton said: “The Proposed Local Development Plan is a huge step in helping to continue to create a city that’s a fantastic place for everyone live, work and visit.

“We welcome comments from the public about the content of the Proposed Plan .”

Much of the content of the Proposed Plan remains similar that in the 2017 Local Development Plan. However, several new opportunity sites have been identified. These are: Cloverhill – residential development (previously employment land); North Denmore – residential; site at Dubford – residential; Balgownie Area 4 – residential; Silverburn House – residential; former Cordyce School – housing, garden centre and/or health and fitness; former Bucksburn Primary School – medical centre or residential; Central Park Dyce – medical centre; Old Skene Road – residential; Kingsford – new stadium and training facilities; St Fitticks Park and Doonies – Energy Transition Zone; Summerfield House, Eday Road – Residential; Woodend Hospital – Residential; Hazlehead Park – hotel and equestrian Centre; Granitehill – residential; 152 Don Street Old Aberdeen – residential; Denburn Valley – City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Former Raeden Centre – residential; Frederick Street – small brownfield opportunity, Mastrick Clinic – uses supporting Mastrick Neighbourhood Centre; Queen’s Square - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Urquhart Building, City Hospital – residential; Resource Centre, City Hospital – small scale retail, commercial or office; Kaimhill Outdoor Centre – residential; Union Street West - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Tillydrone Primary School – new primary school; Station Gateway - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Castlegate and Castlehill - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; North Dee - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Torry Waterfront - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Heart of the City - City Centre Masterplan Intervention Area; Tillyoch, Peterculter – residential; Craigton, Peterculter and Royal Devenick Park - residential.

Another feature of the Proposed Plan is an Energy Transition Zone beside the new Aberdeen South Harbour, to capitalise on Aberdeen’s expertise and location when the global energy sector’s shift from fossil-based systems to renewable energy sources like wind, tidal and solar. Two sites have been identified for this at St Fitticks Park and Doonies and a new policy will allow for the development, production, assembly, storage and/or distribution of infrastructure required to support low-carbon and renewable energy-related industries.

The Proposed Plan contains a spatial strategy which explains our overall view of where development should go and the principles behind that. All sites allocated in the Plan have been assessed against sustainable development and health principles to ensure the most appropriate sites are chosen.

The Delivery Programme sets out what actions are needed for the policies and proposals in the Plan to be delivered, who is responsible for delivering them and the expected timescale for doing this. The Delivery Programme will be monitored and updated regularly and published annually.

All development must comply with policies which seek to create a sustainable city. The Local Development Plan contains different types of policies including map-based policies, which apply to a specific area on the Proposals Map, city-wide policies which apply to all new development proposals, and topic policies which apply to a certain type of development.

Comments from the public can be submitted to Aberdeen City Council online at: http://consultation.aberdeencity.gov.uk/planning/proposedplan2020 or by email to: ldp@aberdeencity.gov.uk. Electronic responses are preferable as council staff are working remotely due to coronavirus.

Once the City Council has received all representations on the Proposed Plan, it will make a response to the broad issues raised and bring these before a meeting of Full Council. After this, if there are any unresolved issues, these will then be considered by a Reporter, appointed by Scottish Ministers, who will issue conclusions and recommendations which the City Council must take on board before adopting the Plan.