A document setting out long-term plans to regenerate the area of Aberdeen beach has been approved.
Members of Aberdeen City Council’s city growth and resources committee voted through plans for a blueprint to drive the revitalisation of the beach area.
Included in the £150 million plans are improved active travel links between the city centre and the beach, while there is also the possibility for a new football stadium and leisure facilities.
The area covered by the masterplan includes the Castlegate and Beach Boulevard, as well as the site currently occupied by Transition Extreme.
It extends as far north as Accommodation Road.
Administration accused of ‘lacking ambition’
SNP group leader Alex Nicoll lodged an amendment proposing the blueprint be extended as far north as the River Don, accusing the administration of “lacking ambition”.
He added: “Unfortunately the administration seem to be restricting us to a short-term view of what can and should be done.
“I am really concerned that if we are constraining ourselves in the masterplan area we may be restricting ourselves in terms of what we may or may not be able to do in the future.”
Need for ‘targeted approach’
However, Mr Nicoll’s amendment was voted down in favour of a motion brought forward by convener Douglas Lumsden, with administration councillors insisting on the need for a “practical and targeted” approach.
Labour councillor and vice-convener Ross Grant said: “Our resources are stretched and we have to make sure we are as targeted and specific as possible.
“The need to move at pace is critical. Extending the footprint would slow that down.”
Talks held to ensure stadium site can cope
A key part of the proposed masterplan is the council’s bid to convince Aberdeen FC to rethink its plans to move out of town to Kingsford and remain close to its current home at Pittodrie.
Talks between the council and the club have taken place, with both parties understood to be keen on the move.
Land currently occupied by the former Doubletree Hotel has been earmarked as the most likely site.
Any new stadium would be likely to include a new home for extreme sports facility Transition, and a replacement for the Beach Leisure Centre.
The council’s head of finance Steve Whyte revealed discussions had been held with Aberdeen FC and Sport Aberdeen to ensure the masterplan area is big enough “to accommodate anything which might be proposed”.
Councillors approved recommendations to start the process for a public survey and feasibility studies to be carried out, and instructed the local authority’s chief governance officer to ascertain land ownership in the area covered by the blueprint.
In a report ahead of the meeting, the beach area was described as giving Aberdeen a “distinct and unique advantage” over other cities.
It read: “In terms of wider economic recovery of cities, the beach area is an opportunity and tourism asset.
“As it is located almost in the city centre, it provides Aberdeen with a distinct and unique advantage to generate new visits and spend over other UK destinations.
“The beach area is also an intrinsic component of the Aberdeen Coastal Trail, and the wide variety of tourism offer that includes nature, golf, maritime history or dolphin watching.”