Buyers and being sought for one of the most significant community development opportunities to ever have been planned for Aberdeen – which stalled when the company behind it failed.
The Countesswells development has been put up for sale after the company leading it collapsed last year.
Surveyors have been appointed to find a new owner for the scheme – which includes plans for thousands of homes, as well as shops and schools – after Countesswells Development Limited (CDL) foundered in the wake of the oil and gas downturn and the Covid-19 pandemic.
CDL, set up to manage the development, was a subsidiary of the Stewart Milne Group (SMG).
It had been estimated that the value of the development once complete could be worth around £800 million.
The project was originally the vision of housebuilding tycoon and former Aberdeen FC chairman Stewart Milne.
Recently he revealed plans to retire and sell his housebuilding empire.
Up for sale
Shepherd Chartered Surveyors has been appointed by the scheme’s administrators FRP Advisory to sell the development, which offers over 31 hectares of land for development – the firm said it would consider sale as a “whole or in parts”.
The surveyors confirmed that, to date, around 725 homes have been built at Countesswells by a mix of builders including Stewart Milne, Barratt, David Wilson Homes, Kirkwood and Chap Homes.
The development was one of the largest and most ambitious to have been undertaken in Aberdeen in the area for many for several years when it was hit by last year’s unprecedented difficulties.
Available now to buyers is the opportunity to complete the build-out of an entirely new community just to the west of the city earmarked for more than 3,100 homes, two schools, shops and other commercial property.
Plans comprise commercial and employment land within the development, including retail areas alongside an existing neighbourhood shopping centre anchored by a 4,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s.
The surveyors highlighted that Aberdeen City Council is proceeding with the construction of the primary school which is “well under way” and that the scheme still has earmarked a second primary school and a secondary school.
The benefits being marketed include good access to the city centre, Westhill and Kingswells, easy reach to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) surrounded by large areas of green space and surrounding woods.
Market showing signs of improvement
Aberdeen-based Shepherd managing partner Chris Grinyer said he was confident of a sale now that market sentiment is recovering.
He said: “The local market is showing real signs of improvement, reflecting increased economic activity in the area, and we anticipate that this will result in good interest being generated in Countesswells.”
Tom MacLennan of FRP added: “Following on from securing the development site, we are now in a position to bring this unique development to the market.
“This is an opportunity for developers to acquire a substantial prime development in Aberdeen and progress it to a conclusion.”