Aberdeen Shopping Centre Ltd, owners of the iconic Bon Accord and St Nicholas Shopping Centres, has lodged an application with Aberdeen City Council seeking Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) to expand and transform the Bon Accord Centre, alongside aspirations to improve and enhance Crooked Lane, Loch Street and the George Street entrance area into the Bon Accord.
The mixed-use development proposal comprises Class 1 (Shops), Class 2 (Professional services), Class 3 (Food and Drink), Class 4 (Business), Class 7 (Hotels), flats, serviced apartments, access, services and all ancillary development.
As this application is for PPP, the proposals only currently comprise indicative layouts and images of the potential development across the development site, with the design and architectural approach conceived by Allan Murray of renowned architectural firm – Allan Murray Associates.
The detailed elements being brought forward for approval in principle include the siting and height of a range of buildings located around George Street, Crooked Lane and Loch Street; the realignment of Cooked Lane; points of access and egress for vehicles; and, the location of principal pedestrian routes throughout the site.
In addition to the proposal lodged today, discussions are also underway with Scottish Futures Trust on the potential of employing an innovative funding package such as a Growth Accelerator Model or Tax Incremental Financing, as successfully used on similar mixed use development in cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, to potentially unlock funding to assist in city centre investment and development.
Commenting on behalf of Aberdeen Shopping Centres Ltd, Joanne Wilkes said:
“We are very excited about the proposals, which have the potential to transform an important and iconic area within the historic retail heart of the city.
“The plans have the overarching benefit of conforming with the recently adopted Local Development Plan and the vision of the City Centre Masterplan, and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the retail and floorspace growth identified within the council’s retail capacity studies.
“Alongside new and exciting potential retail uses, the application allows for a mix of other possible uses, which combine to deliver exactly the kind of city centre-first retail investment, which has been identified as paramount within local and national planning policy.
“While the application is focused on the George Street area, along with the proposals for a new leisure hub development and pedestrian enhancements at Upperkirkgate/Schoolhill, we are committed to continue discussions with the Council and other agencies to explore further options for enhancements and retail floorspace growth in the future.
“We look forward to working with the Council on the application and taking forward our exciting plans and ideas.”