Councillors have been recommended to back a multimillion pound revamp of Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens.
London Olympic Park designers LDA was commissioned to come up with £22million plans for the sunken city centre site.
Among the designs are proposals for three walkways, a new entrance plaza, lift access from Union Terrace, a “halo” lighting feature and a public amphitheatre. The Victorian toilets would be transformed into a cafe or restaurant space.
Next Thursday councillors on the planning committee will vote on the plans.
Thirty people got in touch during the public consultation, with concerns raised about a proposed water feature attracting anti-social behaviour as well as concerns over the loss of the toilets.
But some residents backed plans for the upgrade.
Council planning officers have now recommended that councillors vote for the project, with 20 conditions attached, calling for a photographic survey to be undertaken as well as a detailed tree protection plan. Further conditions state that play equipment must be provided and drainage systems installed.
A report to members reads: “Full regard has been given to all concerns raised in representations, but neither do they outweigh the policy position and material considerations as detailed above, nor do they justify further amendment to the plans or refusal of the application.”
The new designs come several years after ambitious plans were unveiled by Sir Ian Wood for the gardens which would have raised the ground to street level.
His vision for the city centre was thrown out after the Labour-led administration came into power in 2012.
Meanwhile a planning application has been submitted for a permanent safety structure on Union Bridge.
Several people have fallen from the bridge in recent years.
Temporary fencing has been in place in front of the parapet on Union Street.
The application was submitted by the same LDA design team after being commissioned by Aberdeen City Council to draw up the plans.
Last August, Midstocket and Rosemount councillor Bill Cormie urged the council to push ahead with improvements to Union Bridge before other work as part of the revamp of Union Terrace Gardens.
The Samaritans charity has run several campaigns offering free and confidental support for those who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, on telephone number 116 123.