£100m Aberdeen retail complex recommended for refusal

Prime Four Retail AberdeenPlans to develop a £100 million retail park adjacent to the Prime Four Business Park in Aberdeen look set to be rejected by councillors.

City planning officers are recommending the bid to expand the site in Kingswells into a major 12 hectare retail centre be refused.

Under plans lodged by Drum Property Group in October, the project would see major retailers Next and Boots move to the retail park.

The developer claims that an estimated 500 new jobs will be created.

However, with the majority of city-centre shopping centres lodging formal objections to the development, a planner’s report to next Wednesday’s full meeting of Aberdeen City Council has recommended the scheme is refused.

An aerial view of the location of the new retail park
An aerial view of the location of the new retail park

The report to the council reads: “Prime Four is the region’s premier business park and allowing an alternative use in the most highly visible part of the site would remove an opportunity to compete nationally and internationally for high-quality businesses that are looking for sites within such an environment.

“In contrast, Aberdeen has benefited from the council’s implementation of the ‘town centre first’ principle, which has provided investors with confidence to progress with significant developments over the past decade, such as the opening of Union Square, extension and refurbishment of the Bon Accord Centre and investment in the St. Nicholas Centre.

“The city centre’s dominance in the region should be seen as strength to build upon and as a catalyst for further sustainable economic investment and growth within and around that city core.”

Aberdeenshire Council has also objected to the scheme citing that it would “adversely impact” on town centres throughout the district and Kingswells community council also raised concerns.

Graeme Bone, managing director of Drum Property Group, has said previously: “Aberdeen currently languishes behind Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee in terms of out-of-town retail provision and we urge the council to demonstrate confidence in the future of Aberdeen and address this disparity, allowing the city to compete.”

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