Union Terrace Gardens survey response tops 1,000

Still time to have your say!

A survey on proposals to revitalise Union Terrace Gardens (UTG) has drawn more than 1,000 responses – with two days to go before it closes.

The public engagement exercise on the key City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) project ends at midnight on December 9. A link to the survey can be found on the City Council website's home page.

The UTG proposals have been drawn up by LDA Design and aim to conserve the Victorian park’s heritage while transforming access, amenity and activity.

Council leader Councillor Jenny Laing said: “It’s great that so many people are making the effort to study this key City Centre Masterplan proposal and share their views.

“Some people have asked us why we are carrying out a survey and don’t just press ahead with plans.

“However, successfully delivering the Masterplan is all about partnership working – and that is especially true of Union Terrace Gardens.”

Funding for the £20 million project has been set aside in the existing Masterplan budget.

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: “There are still two days left for people to have their say and I’d encourage everybody to do so.

“The proposals before us build on ideas and wishes put forward by the public during the City Centre Masterplan consultation in 2014 and early last year.

“The public has inspired what is envisaged for UTG and with their help we can confidently move to the next stage and get the detailed design right.”

An independent analyst – employed by the Council – will collate the public’s responses, an exercise expected to last into the New Year.

The city’s youngsters have been hearing about the proposals and having their say.

This week LDA Design visited Harlaw Academy, and the Children’s Parliament – a children’s human rights organisation – also carried out engagement work with pupils from Manor Park and Bramble Brae primaries. Robert Gordon’s College has also been sharing the proposals with pupils.

Detailed designs are expected to go to Full Council in March, 2017. If approved, delivery work would start next year with a target completion date of autumn 2019.

A staffed exhibition is taking place at the Winter Village on Union Terrace today [December 8] from 11am-8pm and tomorrow from 11am-6pm.

Copies of the survey are available at the exhibition, Marischal College and Aberdeen Central Library.