Ru­bis­law Quarry hous­ing backed

Ex­clu­sive: Cana­dian devel­oper wants to build 299 flats, gym and bistro

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JON HEBDITCH

CON­TRO­VER­SIAL £68 mil­lion hous­ing plans for Aberdeen’s his­toric Ru­bis­law Quarry have been backed by coun­cil plan­ners.

Doc­u­ments seen by the P&J in­di­cate that the mas­sive 299-flat plan has been rec­om­mended for ap­proval at next week’s plan­ning com­mit­tee meet­ing.

While coun­cil­lors can vote against the sug­ges­tion, or opt for a visit to the site, of­fi­cer rec­om­men­da­tions are gen­er­ally fol­lowed.

The scheme has proved highly con­tro­ver­sial in the area with more than 250 let­ters of ob­jec­tion re­ceived.

Con­cerns have been raised that the his­toric source of much of the city’s gran­ite could be paved-over and there are fur­ther wor­ries over wildlife and drainage im­pacts.

But last night plan­ner Mag­gie Bochel said the scheme would bring “real so­cial and eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the city”.

A con­tentious mul­ti­mil­lion-pound homes plan at Aberdeen’s his­toric Ru­bis­law Quarry has been backed by plan­ners.

Cana­dian real es­tate firm Cart­tera wants to cre­ate 299 flats, a gym for res­i­dents and a com­bined bistro and “mini-mu­seum” on the north­ern edge of the site – which could be 10 storeys high.

“Aberdeen is cur­rently at a cross­roads with oil in­vest­ment”

Coun­cil­lors on the plan­ning com­mit­tee will scru­ti­nise the plans next Thurs­day and vote on whether to grant per­mis­sion for the £68 mil­lion devel­op­ment.

Last night it emerged coun­cil of­fi­cers have rec­om­mended coun­cil­lors ap­prove the plans.

Many in the com­mu­nity fear the devel­op­ment will over­shadow the city’s his­toric gran­ite home.

There are fur­ther con­cerns over the wildlife and drainage at the site, which have re­sulted in more than 250 ob­jec­tions.

How­ever the plan does have the back­ing of Aberdeen and Grampian Cham­ber of Com­merce who de­scribed it as “a vote of con­fi­dence” in the north­east econ­omy.

The scheme has clashed with lo­cal busi­ness­man Hugh Black’s aims to cre­ate a £6 mil­lion her­itage cen­tre on the south­ern edge of the site – re­sult­ing in a bit­ter war of words be­tween the two par­ties.

Last night a Cart­tera spokes­woman said the devel­op­ment would “breathe life” into the quarry.

She added: “Aberdeen is cur­rently at a cross­roads with oil in­vest­ment but with the new foot­ball sta­dium, AWPR, Nigg Har­bour, the Mu­sic Hall re­fur­bish­ment, Art Gallery ex­ten­sion, and new AECC, the city is al­ready tak­ing bold steps and ris­ing up to in­vest for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

“Ap­proval of this devel­op­ment would be an­other sig­nif­i­cant and com­ple­men­tary con­tri­bu­tion to­wards that.”

Mag­gie Botchel, of Aurora plan­ning who are work­ing with Cart­tera, said: “The com­mit­ment of our clients to en­sur­ing that we de­liver a high qual­ity build­ing, along with all of the as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture, and par­tic­u­larly to pro­vid­ing free pub­lic ac­cess to the quarry, means ap­proval of this ap­pli­ca­tion will bring real so­cial and eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the city.”

Ear­lier this year dozens at­tended a pub­lic meet­ing at Har­law Academy to dis­cuss the plans.

Robert Frost, plan­ning of­fi­cer for Craigiebuck­ler and Seafield com­mu­nity coun­cil, said: “The mood at the meet­ing was every­one was against the devel­op­ment. It’s sur­pris­ing to me that it is com­ing back to the com­mit­tee.”

Hugh Black could not be reached for com­ment.

VI­SION: An artist’s im­pres­sion of the flats com­plex planned for the north­ern edge of Ru­bis­law Quarry

Margaret Botchel

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