Revised planning application for new Aberdeen market building approved at committee

A cgi of the proposed external canopy on The Green

A REVISED planning application for the new Aberdeen market building which will be a destination venue featuring international-style food and drink outlets has been approved at committee.

The development will also improve pedestrian connectivity between Union Street and the bus and railway stations via The Green and enliven Hadden Street and Market Street with urban realm improvements in and around The Green. 

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The site is to be developed with attractive market-style floorspace to create a destination venue with marketplace elements promoting local produce and goods alongside continental-style delicatessen, cafes, and food outlets. Morrison Construction was announced as the main contractor for the site last month (October 2023).

Planning permission for the new venue was granted last May (2022) and revisions had been submitted, which were today approved by Aberdeen City Council’s Planning Development Management Committee.

Committee convener Councillor Ciaran McRae said: “It is to be welcomed the committee members agreed unanimously to the revised planning application today.

“The market development will create a vibrant and exciting new destination for people to visit in the city centre, as well as create an improved connection between Union Street, The Green, and the bus and train stations.”

The revisions to the original planning application were submitted to reflect feedback from potential operators. The revisions included:

  • External canopy to The Green removed to allow for a more flexible open events space and opening up the site and surrounding space more;
  • Planting and lighting totem features added to perimeter of the events space todefine the edge of the area;
  • The former BHS space will become a covered link to the market with a designed glazed facade
  • A statement ‘floating roof’ which sits on top of the main building;
  • Lifts and escalators moved to the inside of the market hall to be fully weather protected;
  • Improved landscaping and accessibility to the Market Street entrance with external public space extended and access route improved.
  • Public art commissioned for the glazed external facades and entrance.

The design of the market building will feature a mixture of fixed indoor units of various sizes alongside space for temporary and pop-up facilities to allow for increased variety and would be flexible to seasonal requirements. There will also be the flexible-use outside space which could be used for music, watching major sporting events, or for further market space.

The planning application can be viewed at Simple Search ( using the reference number 230704/DPP. It should be emphasised that the designs may evolve during the planning process and consequently the artists’ impressions may change. The revised planning application will be dealt with in the usual planning process.

The City Council purchased the former Aberdeen Market and BHS building to create a destination venue featuring international-style food and drink outlets. The former BHS building had been vacant for approximately seven years and previously had planning consent for a major office development which has not proved to be deliverable.

The central section of Union Street and Aberdeen Market are critical components in the “Heart of the City” area of intervention identified in the approved City Centre Masterplan, which has the key objective to reinstate the central role of Union Street in the life of the city, establishing stronger linkages north and south and creating a destination not just for shopping but for many city activities.

The City Council is to receive £20million from the UK Levelling Up Fund which will be used towards the development of the new market building and nearby streetscaping.

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