The developer behind plans to revamp Aberdeen Market has said although it sympathises with traders’ objections, the building will become “obsolete” if it doesn’t change.
The comments come after the Evening Express revealed that Market Village, main leaseholder of the building, had submitted an objection letter to planning chiefs.
Dozens of traders operating in the market have also signed a joint letter of objection, expressing fears that they would be forced out of business if Patrizia’s plans were to go ahead.
The firm, which owns the site, announced proposals to build a “landmark building” which would also include high-end shops, cafes and grade A office space.
One of the points of argument put forward by the leaseholder was that its current contract agreement doesn’t run out for another nine years, therefore the site is not “available”.
A spokeswoman for Patrizia said: “We sympathise with the traders.
“However, the current building no longer meets current retail demand and will remain mainly vacant and obsolete.
“The impact of a vacant building has a knock-on affect on neighbouring shops and businesses with a reduced footfall adding to challenging trading conditions.
“The shift in retail demand on the high street has resulted in the collapse of major well-known stores, relocations to local shopping centres or structural changes in the retail market.”
Aberdeen City Council said all sides will be considered by the planning development management committee when the application is discussed later on this year.
The Patrizia spokeswoman added: “Attempts have previously been made by Patrizia to repurpose the existing building with the Market Village but this has proved unsuccessful.
“This presents a highly compelling opportunity to reinvigorate the east end of Union Street, delivering a vibrant place to visit by increasing and enhancing civic space and therefore the overall public realm.
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“The outline plans show how a major redevelopment of the site has the potential to create a much more attractive and innovative architectural building that will house a demand-led mix of shops, cafes, restaurants and offices and greatly improve the surrounding area with large, open public spaces and pedestrian thoroughfares.”
It is hoped the redevelopment will encourage better use of The Green for market traders and events.