A community council today said that a fresh bid to build a student pub shows a “stunning lack of empathy” for residents.
Juliusz Matraszek’s proposals to create the drinking spot on Old Aberdeen’s High Street were rejected by Aberdeen City Council earlier this year.
However, he has now lodged an appeal against that decision with the Scottish Government.
Dewi Morgan, planning officer of the Old Aberdeen Community Council, said that the group’s position on opposing the plans has not changed.
He said: “While the appeal documentation seeks to dismiss the concerns of the local residents, students and university staff who objected to this application, the key issues remain.
“The appeal suggests there are only two pubs in the area, conveniently forgetting the Bobbin, a long-standing student haunt on King Street, and that the university is currently spending a lot of money enlarging and improving the pub within the Students Association building on Elphinstone Road.
“The appeal dismisses the importance of the Catholic Chaplaincy next door as a place of spiritual support and refuge, describing the Chaplaincy in terms that suggests it is just another student service point, rather like a sandwich bar.
“This shows a stunning lack of empathy with the needs of some students, despite the death of a student just two years ago.
“While this application has evidently tapped into a level of student dissatisfaction with the facilities available at Aberdeen University, 15 High Street is simply too small to address these issues and the community council will continue to resist this undesirable application which appears to be more of a vanity project for the student applicant rather than a professionally-developed proposal to meet the students’ needs.”
In his appeal, Mr Matraszek, a student, said: “The university campus lacks a truly student-orientated public house and it is contended that there is a very clear need for one.
“The university presently lacks a student union and students contend that a strong sense of community is lacking on campus.
“If not remedied, this could have damaging effects on student satisfaction, the university’s reputation, and, potentially impact on the vibrancy of the High Street.
“The property has lain vacant since the year 2000 and the university has conveyed its desire to seek an alternative use for the building, which is surplus to its requirements. The proposal would bring the building back into beneficial use for the benefit of the university, the student population and the wider Old Aberdeen area.”