Boost for city centre as £60m homes plan set for green light


CITY centre businesses could soon benefit from almost 400 additional students after plans for a huge new accommodation block were recommended for approval.

Aberdeen City Council officials have urged councillors to give the green light to ambitious proposals for wasteland on Aberdeen’s John Street.

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City-based firm Levelling Up Real Estate initially hoped the £60million development could feature a mix of flats, private apartments and student accommodation.

However, the plans have been scaled back to focus solely on students and the 383-bedroom energy-efficient building could also feature a cinema room and study facilities.

Getting more people to live in the city centre is a key strand of plans to regenerate Union Street and the surrounding area, and it is anticipated that the new accommodation will range between four and seven storeys in size and have a private courtyard for students.

Two public consultations were held earlier this year to give residents the chance to have their say on the proposal for the land.

Feedback revealed there were some concerns about the height of the building, which has since been reduced.

In papers submitted by architects Halliday Fraser Munro, the developers say that the proposals would deliver a “well-designed brownfield redevelopment scheme” and it would contribute towards bolstering the limited supply of student housing in the city.

A council document recommends the plans are given conditional approval subject to legal agreement, with the final decision to be made tomorrow.

It states: “The proposed building has been designed with due consideration for its context and would have no adverse impact on the character or amenity of the surrounding area, being of an appropriate size scale and design, with the proposed use as student accommodation considered to be acceptable within this mixed use setting.

“All relevant technical considerations have been resolved, or can be controlled via appropriately worded planning conditions.”

Should councillors approve the plans tomorrow, it will mark the end of a long battle to redevelop the site.

A previous attempt to build student flats on the site – on the former Ambassador snooker hall ground – fell through.

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