City council finance convener Willie Young has urged opponents of the controversial £107million Marischal Square project to “move on” and support the development.
The Labour politician’s comments came following the fall-out of an Audit Scotland report which cleared the authority of any wrong-doing in its financial handling of the lease deal with Aviva Investors and Muse Developments.
The council sold the Broad Street site to Aviva for £10million and will lease Marischal Square for £5million per year.
It will then have the chance to buy the site for £1 after 35 years.
Critics said the report was nothing but a “whitewash” which did not take into account whether the scheme represented the “best value” approach for the city.
But last night, Mr Young said that the authority had “mitigated” any risks associated with the office, hotel and restaurant complex.
He said: “The hotel is being built and occupied and the shops at the bottom are almost all occupied. So that’s a great thing for the city.
“We’ve also built in sufficient capacity that, should the worst come to the worst and there’s a period where we can’t let all the offices, we’re prepared.
“The council has mitigated the risks to the public.
“Let’s move on and celebrate this great development.”
Prominent critic Lorna McHattie said she still had concerns the new building could be left empty with council taxpayers footing the bill.
She said: “We haven’t any degree of comfort in Audit Scotland’s report or that there isn’t any sort of review of the risk.
“We could now be looking at a completely empty office space.”