A multi-million pound out of town retail development could erode city centre trade in Aberdeen, planners have warned.
Proposals for a £100million expansion of Prime Four business park have also been branded “unsustainable” by the local authority’s planning officers.
The claims came as new images were released showing how the Prime West development in Kingswells could look.
Drum Property Group is currently seeking planning permission in principal for the scheme and a decision on the application will be made by councillors next week.
Developers, who first tabled the proposals in October, claim the expansion will create 500 jobs.
The firm has also said that Next and Boots are among the major names that would move into the retail park, having already committed to take over units.
But despite this, planning officers have urged the council to reject the proposals due to their potential impact on the heart of the Granite City.
A report, which will be discussed at next week’s meeting, cites a number of reasons for their recommendation.
Planners claim the scheme could place future growth of the city centre at risk as it would undermine current and prospective developers’ confidence in their investments.
They have also said approving the plan would raise questions over the authority’s commitment to the city centre masterplan.
In addition, the report also objects to the plan on the grounds that the current local development plan has earmarked the expansion site as unsuitable for retail use.
And the report also highlights potential issues over public transport access and claims access would rely solely on trips by car.
However, despite the set back, Drum remain confident the application will move forward.
And the firm has also carried out its own survey among 976 local residents, with 65% of people in favour of the expansion, and a further 87% who said they would use the park.
Graeme Bone, managing director, said: “We are still confident that Aberdeen City Council can, and will, recognise the very significant benefits that Prime West will bring both to the city and the wider area.
“This isn’t just about the £100million investment and 500 jobs the new development would bring – it’s about maintaining the confidence the city has demonstrated in recent years.
“Currently, the city has shown real ambition by embracing major infrastructure projects such as the AWPR, AECC, the harbour, and the city centre masterplan.
“We feel that this ambition would be further realised by bringing Aberdeen’s retail provision into the 21st century with a modern, well-designed shopping environment that complements the city centre and its retail provision rather than competes against it.
“Aberdeen currently languishes behind Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee in terms of out of town retail provision and we urge the council to demonstrate confidence in the future of Aberdeen and address this disparity, allowing the city to compete and give local residents the retail services they deserve.”
In January, a number of city centre traders joined forces to voice their opposition to the plans.
Firms who own the Union Square, Bon Accord, St Nicholas and Trinity Centre malls are among those who lodged objections to the expansion of Prime Four scheme at Kingswells.
While the operators of the Capitol building and the Kittybrewster, Berryden and Beach Boulevard retail park also joined the protest.
The plans will be discussed by the authority’s planning development management committee on Wednesday.