Sunday20 August 2017

LDA's Union Terrace Gardens gets Aberdeen OK

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Proposal narrowly approved by council

Plans by LDA Design for a £20 million facelift for Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens have been approved by the city council.

They were backed 21 to 20 at a meeting earlier this week, with councillors approving the business case for the proposal.

The latest blueprint for the city’s Victorian sunken gardens includes a new café-pavilion and entrance plaza, as well as the creation of an accessible walkway route and lift access.

LDA’s proposals for the scheme also include the repair and retention of granite balustrading at the gardens’ perimeter and the reinstatement of the gardens’ grand staircase.

The project, dubbed a “revitalisation” by the city council, stands in stark contrast to the controversial “Granite Web” plans, latterly worked on by Diller Scofidio & Renfro, which included underground retail, parking and transport.

That project won a narrow majority in a citywide referendum in 2012 but it was scrapped by councillors later the same year. It would have been backed by a promised £50 million donation from the family trust of oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood.

Local business leaders argued that the reconfigured park and new retail facilities were essential to give Aberdeen a world-class city-centre attraction but councillors got cold feet.

Work on the LDA scheme is expected to complete by 2019.



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