Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber - Town House. View directions
The Committee conducted a site visit prior to the Hearing. The Committee was addressed by Mr Matthew Easton, Senior Planner, who summarised the proposal for the overall site.
The Convener explained that the Committee would return to the Town House to commence the Hearing.
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Planning Officer – Matthew Easton
The Committee heard from the Convener who opened up the Hearing by welcoming those present. He explained that the first person to address the Hearing would be Mr Matthew Easton.
The Committee heard from Matthew Easton, Senior Planner, Aberdeen City Council who addressed the Committee in the following terms:-
Mr Easton explained that the site comprised 13 hectares of largely agricultural land located to the south west of the existing Prime Four Business Park, at Kingswells. At the east end of the site was the Ardene House Vets Practice, beyond which was Kingswells House and Prime Four Business Park itself. The southern boundary featured the Five Mile Garage and Caravan Park and vacant cottages and post office, all accessed from the A944.
The AWPR South Kingswells Junction was currently under construction around 100m to the west of the site and when finished would join the A944 at that point. The land beyond the northern boundary was also agricultural, featuring pockets of woodland.
Mr Easton advised that the site was zoned as business land in the Local Development Plan as part of the wider allocation for Prime Four Business Park.
In regards to the proposals, Mr Easton explained that the application sought planning permission in principle for a retail led mixed use development with a gross floor space of up to 30,000sqm. This was proposed to comprise 26,000sqm of floor space for comparison retailing and 3,700sqm for convenience retailing. There would be further space for food and drink uses and other ancillary uses such as offices, along with all associated landscaping, infrastructure and access works. A new junction was proposed to provide access from the A944. Mr Easton intimated that at this stage no detailed layouts or designs had been submitted for consideration.
In regards to the relevant Planning Policies, Mr Easton explained that there was the potential for the development to have an impact on the city centre and therefore many of the relevant policies related to the role of the city centre as the focus of retail and leisure activity within the region. Mr Easton also highlighted that The Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework stated that within the north east, Aberdeen city centre would be a focus for regeneration efforts and the Policy stated that it was important that planning supported the role of town and city centres to thrive and meet the needs of their residents, businesses and visitors. The town centre first principle (which included city centres) promoted an approach to wider decision-making that considered the health and vibrancy of town centres. The Policy also stated that planning permission should not be granted for significant travel-generating uses at locations which would increase reliance on the car and also where:
1. direct links to local facilities via walking and cycling networks were not available or could not be made available;
2. access to local facilities via public transport networks would involve walking more than 400m; or
3. the transport assessment did not identify satisfactory ways of meeting ... view the full minutes text for item 2.