Images have been revealed showing how a paved over St Fittick’s Park and Doonies Farm could look as part of a future Aberdeen ‘energy transition zone’.
Both spots along the Aberdeen coast have been earmarked as part of the zone, tipped to make the city a renewables powerhouse.
Developer ETZ Ltd has now submitted new documents to Aberdeen City Council.
This is despite campaigners launching a legal fight to protect the Torry park from development.
The row escalated when councillors agreed to explore the idea of leasing the land to energy firms in September
Those efforts were quickly put on hold when the Govan Law Centre lodged papers seeking a review of the decision in the Court of Session.
Despite this ongoing uncertainty, ETZ Ltd has now revealed design images of how one third of St Fittick’s Park could be paved over to provide a “marine gateway” into the zone.
And other blueprints indicate how Doonies Farm could be converted into an accompanying “hydrogen campus” offering a landing site for production pipelines.
What is the ETZ debate about?
Govan Law Centre previously helped campaigners who were fighting to stop the closure of six Aberdeen libraries and Bucksburn Swimming Pool.
They say Torry’s one greenspace needs to be fully protected.
ETZ Ltd argue it will allow the offshore wind, hydrogen and wider green energy sectors to grow, while working to hit net-zero targets. And creating thousands of north-east jobs.
Bosses say direct access to the quayside is a “crucial requirement of potential investors”, which is why St Fittick’s is earmarked.
What could happen to St Fittick’s Park and Doonies Farm?
The Energy Transition Zone would be located next to the recently opened £420 million South Harbour.
It would have a campus model, allowing the development to be broken down into five specialist areas.
A proposed “marine gateway” would be formed around the new harbour and would include land currently used at St Fittick’s and Gregness.
It would provide deep-water port and marine infrastructure for offshore wind and other renewable markets.
Meanwhile the former Doonies Rare Breeds Farm site would be incorporated into a hydrogen campus.
The much-loved city attraction was forced to close for the final time in August after its owners were told their lease would not be renewed.
Under the ETZ plan, testing and demonstration facilities would be built here with an aim to make Aberdeen a “centre of excellence for hydrogen”.
ERM Dolphyn’s offshore green hydrogen production pipeline is expected to be supported by the development.
What else will be in Energy Transition Zone?
The draft masterplan also includes an “offshore wind campus”, “skills campus”, and “innovation campus”.
In August, the local authority gave the green light to a new £6.5 million energy incubator and scale-up “hub”.
However, the masterplan is still to be adopted and is currently being reviewed by Aberdeen City Council.
If planning permission in principle is granted, more detailed designs of the project would be submitted and need further approval.
‘Disgrace to rob residents of green space’
However, the application has already faced some opposition from residents.
Steven Bedford argued the development would hit the people of Torry most.
He said: “This project just baffles me how unnecessary it is to add St Fittick’s Park
and Doonies Farm.
“Just upgrade the already deteriorated industrial estates and improve rail connections for freight.
“That is how we improve economic output without harming the environment
and thousands of people’s mental health.”
While Gillian Grant said the proposal was “very poorly thought out”.
She added: “In an area of much deprivation, it is a disgrace to rob them of their only green space.”
You can see the plans here.