Aberdeen councillors will scrutinise plans to turn the site of a former city office block – demolished amid a storm of controversy – into a major housing development.
A major political row broke out after long-term tenants Baker Hughes GE vacated Silverburn House in Bridge of Don for new premises in Dyce.
The block had been an fixture of the North Sea oil and gas industry for decades and its demolition came just months after it changed hands, having gone up for auction with a guide price of £1.25 million – a fraction of its worth six years earlier.
Critics blamed the demolition on “ruinous” business rates, with Gordon Conservative MP Colin Clark claiming the demolition would cost Aberdeen’s economy at least £1 million a year.
A spokesman for the Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, blasted those allegations as “completely untrue”, claiming Scotland had the UK’s “most attractive business rates”.
Under the new plans, the site on Claymore Drive would be transformed into between 100 and 150 properties, which would be a mix of houses and flats, and “potentially” shops, offices and food and drink venues.
The local authority’s pre-application forum will look at Parkland View LLP’s proposals next week.
A report to councillors reads: “The building is understood to have been constructed in the 1980s and was formerly occupied by Baker Hughes.
“This site forms part of the Aberdeen Energy Park, which lies north of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre and on the eastern side of Ellon Road.
“Silverburn House and the surrounding land to the north and east is identified in the
Aberdeen Local Development Plan (ALDP) as ‘Specialist Employment Areas’, with a focus on Class 4 (business) uses.”
After the pre-application forum, further consultation would be required with the Bridge of Don community before more detailed plans would be submitted. The applicants plan to hold a consultation event at the sports centre on Claymore Drive, on October 8, between noon and 7pm.
Bridge of Don has expanded massively in the decades since oil and gas was discovered in the North Sea.
Cognito Oak LLP have ambitious £110 million plans for a 550 home development earmarked for land north of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, near the A90 Aberdeen to Ellon road.
The scheme would also feature shops, community facilities and a modern football
pitch as a new home ground for junior side Bridge of Don Thistle.