Proposals have been put forward to relocate Aberdeen Sheriff Court and demolish part of the Town House to make way for a new £150 million residential quarter.
The Queen’s Square scheme – which would create new homes, shops and cafes in the Broad Street area – could lead to a number of major city centre buildings relocating.
It has been revealed that discussions have already taken place between Aberdeen University and Aberdeen City Council over bringing the rear section of Marischal College – owned by the academic institution – back into use by councillors.
The new proposals, which were expected to be considered by members of the city growth and resources committee today, also include the relocation of the city’s courts, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and the creation of a new “justice centre” within the city.
The vision for Queen’s Square is one of “cafes and shops spilling out on to pedestrian-friendly public streets and public space” along with 330 apartments.
It was previously revealed the Police Scotland HQ at Queen Street could be demolished under the proposals, with the city mortuary possibly relocated to the Foresterhill Health Campus.
The report said: “Clearly one of the main issues for the council in assembling the overall site is the location of the Town House extension.
“Elected members will be aware that the council currently has a long-term lease over the front sections of Marischal College from the University of Aberdeen.
“As part of this wider masterplanning exercise, exploratory conversations have been held within the university around the potential future use of the back of the college, including the Mitchell Hall, which the council currently has no rights over.”
The report adds that councillors could move meetings and hearings to the King’s College building on the Aberdeen University campus.
The papers also state that Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) wants to see the creation of regional justice centres, including in Aberdeen, with the report adding there are a “number of possible sites” where this could be located.
A justice centre would include the courts, Police Scotland headquarters, Crown Office, and Procurator Fiscal Service, Criminal Justice Social Work and the third sector.
A temporary courts solution would be needed while such a facility was built, the report says.
A spokesman for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said: “Aberdeen City Council are creating an exciting vision for the redevelopment of the city centre.
“Our ambition is to create a small number of justice centres across Scotland, similar to the one under construction in Inverness.
“We are exploring with the city council any opportunities to work collaboratively to realise our shared long-term ambitions.”
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden said: “It’s an ambitious plan to regenerate a big chunk of the city centre.
“It ties in with policy of the city centre living strategy to get more people living and working in the city centre.”
Mr Lumsden said it was “difficult” to say when concrete proposals might come forward.
“There’s the police, NHS and the university involved but the early conversations have been encouraging and there seems to be a will with all parties to do something in the area,” he added.