Marischal Square project narrowly backed by councillors

Councillors have narrowly rejected proposals to halt Aberdeen’s controversial Marischal Square project, paving the way for the £107m development to go ahead.

Members voted 22 to 21 against taking any steps to halt the £107m project at a meeting on Thursday.

The public were twice asked to leave while legal guidance was discussed and a debate was held.

Following the meeting, it emerged finance convener Willie Young had mistakenly emailed confidential legal advice to a protester against Marischal Square.

Mr Young sent the information to Fraser Garrow instead of Conservative councillor Fraser Forsyth, it is understood. Mr Young has referred himself to the Standards Commission.

Marischal Square has divided opinion in Aberdeen, with more than 8500 people signing petitions against the scheme.

The council’s SNP group requested the special meeting over the development, which would include shops, offices and restaurants.

Planning permission for the development - on a site created by the demolition of the former St Nicholas House council headquarters - was granted last year.

Developers Muse claim the scheme will help regenerate Aberdeen’s city centre and said the reaction from the business community has been encouraging.

Opponents argue that the development would block the view of historic Marischal College and Provost Skene House.

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