Updated plans for the proposed new multi-million pound Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will go on show today at Aberdeen’s Bon Accord Centre.
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Henry Boot Developments – Aberdeen City Council’s development partner for the project – has launched the third round of public consultation events on plans for a new exhibition centre at Bucksburn and the redevelopment of the current AECC site at Bridge of Don, in advance of planning applications being submitted in early summer.
The events will run from 10am-6pm today and Saturday (28 March) at the Upper Mall of the Bon Accord Centre, Aberdeen. From Monday 30 March – Friday 10 April, the exhibition will be on display in Marischal College, where comments can be submitted to the developer.
This is the final opportunity for the public to provide comments to Henry Boot Developments before planning applications are made.
The consultation events are a chance to view updated plans and images of the interior and exterior of the new event centre and wider development, revealing the progress made by the development team since the initial consultation was launched in early 2014.
A green energy centre will provide heating and power for the new AECC and the three hotels included within phase 1 of the proposals. The remainder of the Bucksburn site will be developed to include offices, parking and parkland.
Updates to the design include the shape of the arena, which has changed from rectangular to horseshoe, improving visibility from all seats. The conference suite and small exhibition halls have also been separated, allowing maximum flexibility and operational efficiency. The central public piazza is now more enclosed and user-friendly.
The proposed final development option for Bridge of Don responds to earlier consultation feedback and shows a mixed-use scheme comprising housing, business and commerce, a recycling centre and an enhanced 1,000 space Park and Ride.
These events mark the culmination of a year-long consultation programme which has included exhibitions, meetings and opportunities for comments to be posted online. To date more than 2,000 people and organisations have been involved in the process – and strong general support for the proposals has been evident.
During the earlier consultations, more than three quarters of those who provided written responses agreed with the range of uses proposed for the Bucksburn site – with 72% supporting the evolving designs for the new AECC building.
Strong support was also voiced for the sustainable heat and power proposals at Bucksburn, with 87% of consultees being positive about the proposed energy facilities on site.
At Bridge of Don, initial consultation feedback prompted Henry Boot Developments to consider two different development options, one of which included housing, recycling and commercial facilities. At the September exhibitions, 57% of respondents advised they were happy with both options. 17% of respondents preferred the option with housing, recycling and commercial facilities and 4% preferred housing and commercial facilities.
Henry Boot Developments Scottish Director Nick Harris said: “I’m delighted to get this final stage of our public consultation under way and unveil our revised proposals for both the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and for the site at Bridge of Don.
“The new AECC is a very exciting development not only for Aberdeen, but also for Henry Boot Developments. This is our first venture in North-east Scotland and a crucial project for the area’s economy. It is essential that we deliver world-class facility which Aberdeen can be proud of and which will attract international business and entertainment events.
“I hope people will be pleased to see the changes we’ve made after listening closely to the huge number of views expressed during the earlier consultation events.”
Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing said: “A new AECC is a key element of the business infrastructure needed to promote Aberdeen as a world energy city and the Energy Capital of Europe. The public have an opportunity to help guide the development of this exciting and crucial new facility by making their views on the plans known to Henry Boot Developments. I
would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of the AECC and the benefits it will bring to Aberdeen to visit the consultation events or view the updated proposals on line and make their views known.”
Further information and the opportunity to submit comments online is available via www.aeccevolves.co.uk