Councillors urged to approve plans for cinema, shops and hotel on outskirts of Aberdeen

What the Blackdog development could look like.

Plans to create a cinema, shops and a hotel, as well as 550 homes on the outskirts of Aberdeen, have been recommended for approval.

Councillors on the local authority’s Formartine area committee have been asked to give their views on the plans for Blackdog with the intention of approving the application at a meeting involving all Aberdeenshire councillors.

And the Evening Express can exclusively reveal new images showing how the proposed town centre and food hall could look if the proposals win approval.

An artist’s impression of the completed project planned for Blackdog.
An artist’s impression of the completed project planned for Blackdog.

Developers Ashfield Land and housebuilder Kirkwood Homes submitted the two planning applications in March last year.

The first set of plans are for a new town centre which would include a cinema, hotel, shops and a regional food hall.

Of the 550 homes, 150 would be affordable to accommodate around 2,100 new residents.

If successful, the development would create 1,200 jobs during construction and 1,500 full-time jobs in the longer term when it’s completed.

A report by director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer – to be considered by councillors on Tuesday – said: “The proposed development represents a departure from the development plan.

“Justification has been provided for a departure on the grounds that the proposed development meets the aims, objectives and vision of the approved masterplan and while the scale and mix of the proposal exceeds the development anticipated in the masterplan, it is considered that the development will provide a viable, deliverable and sustainable development within the Energetica Corridor.”

A retail impact assessment showed the proposals would have an impact on nearby areas including Ellon.

Mr Archer added: “The report highlighted that the scale of retail currently proposed was close to the limit that would be acceptable in terms of protecting the vitality and viability of Ellon town centre.

“In terms of impacts on Fraserburgh and Peterhead town centres, these were also considered to be relatively high.

“However, such impacts were predicted to be as a result from the regional food hall element. In contrast, comparison goods impacts are minimal.

“Impacts on Inverurie town centre are low for all goods.”

Steven McGarva, of Ashfield Land, said: “Our plans for Blackdog will deliver substantial benefits for people living in Aberdeenshire and beyond.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the planning process.

“We’ve listened and responded by implementing a number of changes to the configuration of the development, which I’m confident will offer a wide range of opportunities for local people.”

Philip Mann, chairman of Blackdog Resident’s Association, added: “Local people have been waiting a long time on these plans, which will provide a welcome boost to the village and help Blackdog grow to its full potential, creating new jobs.

“The building of new homes, and especially the town centre, with retail and leisure facilities is vital to the growth of the village.

“We are hopeful the applications will be approved so the plans can finally be turned into a reality.”