Plans for a £100million out-of-town shopping complex on the outskirts of Aberdeen have hit another hurdle.
City planning officers are recommending the bid to expand the Prime Four site in Kingswells into a major 12 hectare retail centre be refused.
Drum Property group had been due to present their vision for the site in March but pulled the proposals at the last minute to “refine” them.
They claim the development, which was first tabled in October, will create 500 jobs – with Next and Boots among the major names that would move in.
But the plans have proved controversial, with the majority of city-centre shopping centres lodging formal objections, fearing a downturn in trade in the beleaguered area.
Now, in a report to next Wednesday’s full council meeting, planners have recommended the scheme is refused.
Aberdeenshire Council have previously objected to the scheme citing that it would “adversely impact” on town centres throughout the district and Kingswells community council also raised concerns.
But in April the neighbouring council approved the £150million Blackdog scheme to the north of the city, including more than 500 homes, a six-screen cinema, 150-bed hotel, shops, and a petrol station.
A report to the council reads: “Prime Four is the region’s premier business park and allowing an alternative use in the most highly visible part of the site would remove an opportunity to compete nationally and internationally for high quality businesses that are looking for sites within such an environment.
“In contrast, Aberdeen has benefited from the council’s implementation of the ‘town centre first’ principle, which has provided investors with confidence to progress with significant developments over the past decade, such as the opening of Union Square, extension and refurbishment of the Bon Accord Centre and investment in the St.Nicholas Centre.
“The city centre’s dominance in the region should be seen as strength to build upon and as a catalyst for further sustainable economic investment and growth within and around that city core.”
Graeme Bone, managing director of Drum Property Group, has said previously: “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.”