Aberdeen councillors back Bon Accord and St Nicholas expansion

Bon Accord & St Nicholas Aberdeen4Plans to expand the Bon Accord and St Nicholas centres have been granted planning permission in principle by Aberdeen City Council.

Councillors agreed with the local authority’s planners who recommended approving the redevelopment which will see the facility extended by around 8,500 sq m to include shops, offices and restaurants, food outlets and a roof over part of George Street.

A 170-bed hotel and 50 flats have also been proposed for the site.

The plan, by centre owners BMO, would result in the 123-year-old unlisted building at 41-43 Loch Street – a former soup kitchen – being demolished, removed or relocated.

The preferred option is to remove the building and relocate it on Loch Street closer to the Berry Street roundabout. Santander and Co-op buildings on George Street would also be demolished to make way for new shops and the hotel.

A new four or five-storey retail block has also been put forward, linking the Bon Accord Centre and John Lewis.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of city centre business body Aberdeen Inspired, welcomed the investment.

He said: “We welcome the news that plans for the expansion of Bon Accord are gathering pace, as they will make a significant contribution to the masterplan, once implemented.

“The development proposals and significant investment will regenerate an important part of the city centre which will have a good knock-on effect in the heart of Aberdeen.”

Andrew Martin, vice-chairman of the city and shire hoteliers association and director of the Scottish centre for tourism at RGU, said: “I think people see that to move the city forward and diversify the economy they need to embrace economic regeneration.

“What we want to avoid is an American-style out-of-town shopping centre culture.”

Detailed plans are expected to come forward later this year.

Chris Miller, associate planner at GVA, said on behalf of Aberdeen Shopping Centres Ltd: “The support received throughout the development of the proposals from the public, stakeholders and key organisations including the city centre masterplan team and Aberdeen Inspired was invaluable, and we would like to thank all those who got involved and backed the plans.”

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