The leaseholder of a city shopping complex under threat of demolition has joined the fight to save it.
Market Village, which sub-lets the units in Aberdeen Market to traders, has submitted a letter to council planning chiefs voicing its opposition to the plans.
The firm rents the market from Patrizia, which announced proposals to build a “landmark building” containing shops, cafes and grade A office spaces last month.
The architect involved in the project said the new building would be at the “very top end of the market”.
However, Patrizia and Market Village could be set for a collision course following the objection.
The firm has a nine-year lease on the site which still has eight years to run.
It also pointed to a Government inquiry where ministers pledged to support local markets.
The letter said: “The Market Village Company Ltd currently has a lease agreement for Aberdeen Market (comprising the existing first and second floors of the application building) for a further nine years, expiring in 2027.
“In this regard, the application site cannot be considered as being “available”.
“It would be wrong for the council to assume the application site is deliverable, and it would be subsequently remiss to grant a three-year planning permission for a development that has little prospect of being implemented within the life span of the permission.
“The significance of both indoor and outdoor markets to the local economy has been specifically considered by a House of Commons Inquiry, which reviewed the threat to the traditional markets.
“The inquiry found that the social benefits of markets were as important as their economic functions.”
It follows after dozens of traders in the market united in a fight to save it from demolition.
They signed a joint letter of objection which was submitted to Aberdeen City Council, expressing fears that they would be forced out of business if the planning application was to be approved.
A spokesman for the traders said: “It’s great Market Village have been so emphatic about confirming they have their nine-year lease.
“This has made the traders feel very supported because Market Village and the traders are united in being here for the long term.
“We’re sure the council will take note of the fact there’s a nine-year lease in place and that will have to be respected.”
A Patrizia spokesman 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.
“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.
“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.
“More attractive and active frontages are being proposed to increase the vibrancy of the area, including dramatically improving the public realm to encourage better use of The Green for market traders and event space.”
A spokesman for Aberdeen City Council said: “All the points raised by the letter will be considered as part of the assessment of the application and by the committee report when this application is reported to the Planning Development Management Committee later this year.”