Union Terrace Gardens survey draws more than 1,400 responses
A survey on proposals to revitalise Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) in Aberdeen has generated 1,417 returns.
The public engagement exercise on the key City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) project ran from December 2 to December 9.
The UTG proposals have been drawn up by LDA Design and aim to conserve the Victorian park’s heritage while enhancing access, amenity and activity.
Funding for the project, costed at £20 million, has been set aside in the existing Masterplan budget.
Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “I would like to thank everyone who shared their views.
“The city centre exhibitions were extremely well attended and gave people the chance to quiz the design team directly.
“As well receiving feedback through the surveys, LDA Design were able to hear first-hand from people about what they’d like for UTG."
The proposals 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
Deputy Council leader Councillor Marie Boulton, who chairs the cross-party City Centre Regeneration Board, said: “The public have played a pivotal role in bringing this Masterplan project forward.
“The volume of response shows just how much residents care about Union Terrace Gardens.
“By tapping their drive and imagination we have a chance to enhance this wonderful green space and work together to transform our city centre.”
An independent analyst – employed by the Council – will collate the responses, an exercise expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Kirstin Taylor, Project Director at LDA Design, said: "We’ve really enjoyed meeting with local people, seeing their passion for this special green space, and hearing their suggestions.
“We have received suggestions on the finish and detailing of materials to assist with accessibility, and on ways to make the Gardens even more inclusive, and reflect a broad spectrum of cultures.”
Neil Mattinson, Board Director, LDA Design said: “Feedback from the community engagement is being analysed so we can work on the detailed design proposals from the New Year.
“We will be revisiting key stakeholders to talk through some of the detailed aspects.”
Detailed designs will go before councillors in Spring 2017. If approved, delivery work would start next year with a target completion date of autumn 2019.