Aberdeen Local Development Plan backed by Scottish Government’s independent Reporters

The proposed blueprint for Aberdeen’s future development has been backed by independent Reporters appointed by Scottish Government following a detailed examination.

The Proposed Local Development Plan identifies land to meet the housing and employment land allocations laid out in the most recent Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan [2009]. It also contains policies which meet the aims and objectives of the Structure Plan.

Aberdeen will accommodate at least half of the new housing and employment land required to meet the strategic needs of the North-east over the next 20 years. This means that greenfield sites for 21,000 new homes and 175 hectares of employment land are required up to 2030.

The Plan proposes sites for a further 10,000 homes on brownfield sites and 5,000 in regeneration areas – and sets out new ways of developing areas, guided by detailed masterplans prepared in consultation with local communities.

The council submitted the Plan to the Scottish Government Directorate of Planning and Appeals for Examination in May this year as part of the requirements for it to be formally adopted.

The Scottish Ministers appointed Ms Katrina Rice BSc DipTP MRTPI, Mr David A Russell MA (Hons) MPhil MRTPI, Mr Richard M Hickman CBE MA BA DipTP MRTPI and Mr Ronald W Jackson LLB to carry out the examination.

Following months of detailed examination they have now published a hugely positive report, endorsing the Plan with some minor changes.

Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure convener Councillor Kate Dean said: “The report from Scottish Government Reporters is very positive. It is a huge testament to the time and effort of the planning team that so few recommendations for change have been made.

“We now have a fantastic blueprint for the future of the city.Once adopted the Plan will ensure this city can deliver the new homes that it so badly needs, with 25% of all proposed housing being affordable homes for families, and the employment land required to ensure our economy remains one of the most buoyant in the country. It also ensures the protection of green space, which is so important to the quality of life in this city.

“This is a hugely important step forward for the city of Aberdeen. The Plan is the result of a massive amount of work by our officials and every stage has been subject to public consultation on a huge scale with our communities and with developers. I am delighted that it has been accepted by Scottish Ministers so that we can get on with the job of keeping this city moving forward.”

The Plan is laid out in several sections, each of which identifies the development opportunities available in the city.

Housing – The Plan identified areas which are suitable for new housing up to 2030.

  • Bridge of Don/Grandhome – 7,610 properties
  • Dyce/Bucksburn – 4,940
  • Kingswells and Greenferns – 2,270
  • Countesswells – 3,000
  • Deeside – 700
  • Loirston and Cove – 1,500
  • Woodside – 300

It also lays out a number of policies, including a requirement for developers to contribute no fewer than 25% of properties in developments as affordable housing. These were all backed by Reporters except the removal of areas of housing at Malcolm Road, Peterculter, Mid Anguston and land adjacent to Bucksburn Primary School and an area of employment known as Blackhills of Cairnrobin. The examination report recommended that no additional or alternative sites should be included.

Employment Land– The Plan details the areas earmarked for employment land.

  • Bridge of Don/Grandhome – 32 hectares
  • Dyce/Bucksburn – 54.5 hectares
  • Kingswells and Greenferns – 60 hectares
  • Countesswells (including one hectare at East Arnhall) – 11 hectares
  • Deeside – 5 hectares
  • Loirston and Cove – 33.5 hectares

The Reporters backed all the proposed employment land except for the removal of a 3.5 hectare site at Blackhills of Cairnrobin.

Transport – A range of schemes have been identified to address existing transport issues in the city and ensure good connections are provided. The Plan has safeguarded land for:

  • improved rail services
  • the A96 Park and Ride/Choose and Dyce Drive link road
  • Berryden corridor
  • South College Street improvements
  • Haudagain roundabout improvements
  • the Third Don crossing

All the Plan’s proposed transport schemes were backed by the Reporters.

Waste –A number of new waste infrastructure facilities will be needed to reduce the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill. These include a materials recycling facility, a composting facility and a new waste transfer station. The following sites have been safeguarded in the Plan and backed by Reporters for waste-related used:

  • Altens East/Doonies – materials recycling facility, composting facility and/or a transfer station
  • Sclattie Quarry, Bucksburn – transfer station
  • Denmore Road, Bridge of Don – recycling centre
  • Grove Nursery at Hazlehead Park – recycling centre

Education – The Plan identifies the need for the provision of schools across the city, broken down by Masterplan Zones, which were all backed by Reporters.

Planning officials will now submit a report to city councillors on the Reporter’s recommendations, which are binding on the council and can only be challenged if the council believes there are exceptional circumstances to consider.

The Plan will be discussed at Full Council and, following an advertisement period, the City Council can formally adopt the Plan.