An Aberdeen politician has called for derelict land ditched by a supermarket giant to be redeveloped as a school for children with special needs.
Mark McDonald, MSP for Aberdeen Donside, was responding to an announcement from Morrisons that it was withdrawing plans for the former Summerhill Academy.
More than 300 jobs would have been created by the proposals for a new store on the land off the Lang Stracht.
SNP member Mr McDonald has written to the chief executives at Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian to ask that the area be considered for a potential replacement for the Raeden Centre.
More than £14million has already been committed by the city council to building the new facility to accommodate about 150 children. The preferred location is a site at Greenferns, off Howes Road.
Mr McDonald said: “Whilst I am disappointed that Morrisons will no longer be developing the site at the Lang Stracht, the silver lining is that the site can now be considered for alternative uses.
“One possibility I have suggested is that a replacement for the Raeden Centre is considered among the options for the site. Locating a new centre at the Lang Stracht would provide a number of benefits including providing services much closer to the Foresterhill Campus.”
Morrisons issued a joint statement with the city council yesterday to confirm it was withdrawing from the site.
The UK chain demolished the school buildings in February 2012, but the site has remained empty since then.
Court actions launched by rival Tesco, which has a store nearby, caused considerable delays to the plans. During that process, planning consent was withdrawn and Morrisons had not yet applied for fresh permission.
A Morrisons spokesman would not be drawn on the reasons for backing out.
She said: “Regrettably we have decided to withdraw from the agreement with Aberdeen City Council to develop the Lang Stracht site.
“This has been a difficult decision for us after the level of investment and time we have committed to the site so far.
“However, we believe that it is better for the local community that we withdraw from the process at this point and allow the site to be developed for an alternative use.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said there would be a “full review” of the options available and officials would report back to the appropriate committee “at the earliest opportunity”.